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Campaign highlights road safety

From the left: Chief Inspector Matt Webb; Road Safety Officer for OIC Corporate Services, Yvonne Scot; and County Safety Advocate for the Fire Service, Mick Harcus.
(The Orcadian/Tom O’Brien)

As winter’s dark nights draw in Police Scotland are looking to shine a light on safety for vulnerable road users with new campaign Operation CEDAR.

The initiative being run across the Highlands and Islands Division is aimed at improving road safety across the region. In Orkney, Police have joined up with Orkney Road Safety forum, to encourage cyclists to remain safe and visible, with not only education, but the handing out of bike lights.

Police are reminding cyclists that along with obeying all traffic signs, traffic light signals and not cycling on pavements, they must equip their bikes with the appropriate lights and make sure they are lit when it starts to get dark.

Officers in Orkney will be proactively looking to address cyclists who ignore the legislative requirement to illuminate their bikes in darkness, and will be providing bike lights to those who need them. Just over 350 pairs of bike lights have been purchased using funding from Police Scotland Safer Communities for this purpose.

“Visibility is key to keeping cyclists safe on the roads and I would encourage cyclists to ensure they wear bright reflective clothing and illuminate lights on their bikes, both front and rear, in order to make themselves more visible to other road users,” said chief inspector, Matthew Webb.

“This is equally applicable during the day, but more important at dusk and when it’s dark, to avoid collisions and warn other road users to their presence.

“Some cyclists wear dark clothing and particularly on faster roads they can be almost invisible to drivers until they are close to them.”

He added: “I recognise in this rural community that a lot of the measures are equally applicable to the equine community and they are more than welcome to make use of the same free offer.”

This initiative has been supported by the Orkney Road Safety Forum who will assist with the distribution of these lights, which in addition to the police office, are available from the OIC hubs and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Community Safety Advocacy.

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