Tuesday, 21 April 2015
The motoring association Touring teamed up with Eddy Merckx to launch an awareness-raising campaign calling all road users for more respect when driving or cycling, on Brussels’ Place Luxembourg on Tuesday. “With spring coming, we see more and more cycles out and about, which can sometimes lead to problems,” points out Touring. A total of 1 million stickers will be handed out which are meant to be stuck on rear-view mirrors to remind motorists that 2-wheeled vehicles also use the same roads. This event is part of the “Think bikes” campaign launched in EU countries by FIA (International Automobile Federation). It starts on Tuesday with the slogan “Let’s share the road”, supported by Jacqueline Galant (federal minister for Mobility) and regional ministers for Mobility Ben Weyts (Flanders) and Pascal Smet (Brussels).
The higher density and variety of traffic leads to ever more accidents with 2-wheeled vehicles and personal injuries (+8.5%for bicycles, and +3.8% for motorcycles; figures for 2014 provided by IBSR – Belgian Institute for Road Safety), points out Touring.
Road users can order stickers from the following Touring platform www.ensemblepartageonslaroute.be. The aim is to stick them somewhere where they will be noticed. “I drive and I also cycle. When I was a professional cyclist (…) everyone saw me on my bike,” explains Eddy Merckx. tout le monde me voyait rouler”, explique Eddy Merckx. “Now, when I get on my bike, I feel very small and almost invisible. I really understand the need for each and every one of us to watch out for the everyone else,” he adds.
Touring reminds motorists to “always adjust the rear-view mirrors, and always look at them before changing lanes or direction,” but also “look over your shoulder to avoid the blind spot.”
In Europe, cyclists represent 8% of road victims. Belgium does worse than average with 10%. 14% of accidents in Belgium involve motorcycles, compared to 15% in Europe.