In a world where cycling enthusiasts share the road with drivers, safety remains a paramount concern. We had the privilege to speak with Molly, a Cycliq ambassador who is passionate about cycling safety advocacy and has a personal connection to the cause. Molly’s story highlights the importance of road safety awareness and the role of technology in shaping the future of cycling safety.
Where it Began
Molly’s journey into cycling and road safety advocacy began with unfortunate experiences involving incidents with vehicles. These incidents ranged from minor scrapes to serious injuries, and they were not unique to Molly’s group. A significant majority of cyclists in their wider clubs had faced similar incidents, leaving a lasting impact on their safety.
The Disconnection Between Drivers and Cyclists
Molly shares that there appears to be a disconnection between drivers and cyclists on the road as drivers are uncertain about how to interact with cyclists which could come from a lack of education and awareness about sharing the road safely. This disconnect often leaves cyclists feeling concerned and unsafe due to past experiences of abuse, near-misses, or hit-and-runs.
The Impact of Cycliq Cameras
We approached Cycliq for assistance with our SOTON LEJOG mission. We were impressed with their innovative Fly12 camera-light product, which will help ensure that we feel safe while cycling 1700km across the country from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
While many of Molly’s SOTON LEJOG team are triathletes, they have all participated in various cycling disciplines, including time trials, criteriums, and road races. They enjoy cycling in the New Forest and surrounding areas, often riding long distances in preparation for charity events.
Molly believes that Cycliq cameras make a significant difference in the everyday lives of cyclists. These cameras have the ability to capture high-quality footage of collisions or near-misses, providing valuable evidence to determine fault and improve road safety for both cyclists and drivers. The prospect of having a recording device alleviates anxiety, especially on unfamiliar roads.
Many of Molly’s fellow cyclists have experienced accidents or near-misses. Molly herself was involved in a hit-and-run accident at the age of 17. Unfortunately, the driver was never found, and there was no evidence to pursue the case further. A camera would have captured the incident, including the number plate, providing crucial evidence for the police and insurance. As a result, she came out with broken bones, a helmet snapped in two, multiple surgeries and trauma at a young age. Despite regaining her confidence 5 years later, the fear of being too close to a vehicle is still prominent in her thoughts as she cycles along the roads.
Challenges Faced by Cyclists Worldwide
The most significant challenge that Molly and her group believe cyclists face globally is the lack of respect from cars. This includes behaviours like getting too close, honking, catcalling, verbal abuse, and deliberate collisions. Molly stresses that whilst many cyclists aren’t perfect, most of them respect the road and such behaviour is unacceptable, and it’s unfair for cyclists to be constantly worried about their safety on the road.
Advocacy, Road Safety and Awareness
As Cycliq ambassadors, Molly’s group plans to use the Fly12 Sport during their LEJOG ride to capture footage of cycling and, if needed, footage of disrespectful cars. Their goal is to spread awareness about road safety, especially among those who don’t cycle regularly, by showcasing the impact cars can have on cyclists which may help change the way people view cyclists.
Molly believes that one of the most effective ways to create a global impact on road safety awareness is through education and campaigns targeting all road users, not just drivers and cyclists. This should extend to schools and the media, with a focus on showing all sides of the story and working. By doing this and collaborating with companies like Cycliq will help show the cyclist’s perspective which as a result can create a safer environment for everyone. Cycliq can play a significant role in shaping the future of cycling safety by continuing to advocate for safer roads for cyclists.
“We should learn from other countries. We spent a week in Mallorca cycling and the respect for cyclists was immense, all of us felt extremely safe in roads that were unfamiliar to us because of the mutual respect for cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers alike.”
Technological Advancements and Perception of Safety
Technological advancements, such as those offered by Cycliq, can revolutionise cycling safety and road user interactions. Using the Fly12 Sport and Fly6 Generation 3 not only provides a heightened sense of security for cyclists but also encourages drivers to be more conscientious on the road. When drivers know they are being recorded, they are more likely to modify their driving style which will foster a safer experience for cyclists.