Think Bike back packs giveaway - by Chief Insp Andy Clarke

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Local cyclists can improve their road safety by picking up one of the many Think Bike back packs we will be giving away this week.

A cycle safety hub will be opened between 7.30 and 9am at Mansfield Fire Station on Friday 12th October where the packs will be handed out and road safety advice offered.

The packs contain useful items, including a high-visibility rucksack and jacket, a multi-tool, bike lock and lights and are courtesy of Nottinghamshire Police and the Road Safety Partnership.

We’ve got a lot of rural roads in the county as well as some windy, high speed routes, so it’s important cyclists do all they can to keep themselves safe.

Six pedal cyclists have already died on our roads this year and I ask motorists to remember to consider bike users.

The family of Mansfield South beat manager PC Diederik Coetzee, who was seriously injured in a hit and run while he was riding his bike in November last year, is also backing the initiative.

He suffered multiple injuries and, nearly eleven months on, continues to receive intensive rehabilitation treatment and is making slow by steady progress.

While it was the man driving the car that caused Diederik’s collision, the fact that he was wearing a helmet quite possibly saved his life and I hope other cyclists are as diligent when it comes to road safety.

His family has spoken out to advise other cyclists to take as many precautions as they can to protect themselves on our roads.

They have also stressed the importance for all road users to be aware of each other and have reminded motorists to consider if they really need to send a text or change the radio while driving.

I hope that cyclists and road users will heed the advice given by the Coetzee family and come along to the event at the fire station to pick up a safety back pack – it could save your life.