The death of teenage biker, Jack Bellis, has prompted The AA to print one million “Think Bikes” stickers warning car drivers to look out for motorbikes and cycles.
Stickers are available for free from The AA and Halfords.
Tony Rich, the AA’s patrol of the year, had the idea for ‘Think Bikes’ after a family friend, Jack Bellis, 19, was killed in a motorbike accident in October 2012.
He designed small stickers for the side mirrors of a vehicle to remind drivers to do a ‘double-take’ for those on two wheels. There is a bicycle sticker for the passenger side and a motorcycle one for the driver side.
The AA ‘Think Bikes’ campaign is supported by British Cycling and The Motorcycle Industry Association. They were represented at the launch in Marble Arch, London, by Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman and 20-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness.
It also received the backing of road safety minister Patrick McLoughlin, the police, the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and a host of cycling and freight groups.
The campaign started out as a legacy to Jack Bellis before Tony approached the AA, his employer, for support.
Tony Rich, AA patrol of the year, says: “We are all a bit overwhelmed to see how far the campaign has come. It’s been really inspiring to see this germ of an idea launched nationally with the help of Chris Boardman and John McGuinness.
“‘Think Bikes’ is just about making a difference. We would encourage all drivers to use the free stickers and do a ‘double-take’ in their mirrors for cyclists and motorcyclists.”
Andy Bellis, Jack’s father, says: “Jack’s accident had a huge impact on everyone but we were determined that something positive would come of it. Tony’s sticker idea is such a simple but effective one and we are delighted that Jack’s legacy is now part of a national road safety campaign.
“Tony has worked incredibly hard to get us where we are today and we’re all very proud of him.”
The driver of the car involved in the accident killed Jack Bellis is due in court later this month.
AA driver awareness research
The AA reported that nine out of ten drivers (93%) admit it is sometimes hard to see cyclists while driving and more than half (55%) are often ‘surprised when a cyclist appears from nowhere’.
These are the results of an AA-Populus poll of 17,629 drivers. A previous AA-Populus poll showed 85%of drivers think motorcyclists are sometimes hard to see and more than half (57%) are often ‘surprised when a motorcycle appears from nowhere’.
Failure to look properly is the most commonly cited (42%) contributory factor in UK road accidents, adding further weight to the need for road users to have greater awareness of each other.