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Police launch light up campaign

PUBLISHED: 20:36 17 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:11 03 March 2010

CYCLISTS, young and old are being urged to light up in a major new campaign by Woodbridge police.

The Lights Saves Lives campaign aims to warn cyclists of the dangers of riding on dark mornings and evenings without lights or reflective clothing.

CYCLISTS, young and old are being urged to light up in a major new campaign by Woodbridge police.

The Lights Saves Lives campaign aims to warn cyclists of the dangers of riding on dark mornings and evenings without lights or reflective clothing.

Last year 127 people were killed in cycle accidents across the country while more than 20,000 suffered either serious or minor injuries.

This year Woodbridge police has teamed up with Suffolk County Council and the Guild of Experienced Motorists to launch a campaign with a difference and reward those who do have lights, by entering them into a prize draw to win a free bike.

From next Monday, patrol police will be stopping all cyclists they spot in Kesgrave, Martlesham and Woodbridge, whether they have lights or not, to take their details.

Those without lights face punishment ranging from a verbal warning to a caution, or if the rider is over 16, they could be given a fixed penalty or could even end up in court.

A form will also be filled in for those who have lights to enter them into a prize draw to win a new Orbea 24-gear-speed bike with quick release alloy wheels, worth more than £300.

Pc Karle Howard from Woodbridge Police who is involved in the campaign said: "It can be very dangerous to ride without lights.

"We have tried starting campaigns like this as soon as the clocks changed but in the past few years the problem seems to have been getting worse rather than improving.

"We decided to do it after Christmas this year when youngsters may have had bikes as presents."

Pc Howard said that the police receive many calls from concerned members of the public who have seen cyclists without lights and that they are taken seriously.

He said: "People don't really realise just how serious it can be but hopefully we can change their perceptions of that and the dangers that can arise."

Martin Andrew, road safety officer from Suffolk County Council is also travelling around schools to give teachers information for pupils about the campaign.

Adrian Farthing, owner of Pedal Power in Martlesham Heath, who has provided the prize bike said he was fully supportive of the scheme.

He said: "One of the major things I want to do is to encourage everyone to ride short distances.

"The view that cycling is unsafe is enhanced when people ride without lights.

"Cycling is not unsafe and we need to get the message across."

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