CYCLING around Oxford, Jessica Friend knows first hand the dangers faced from lorries.
So she hit on an idea that the 22-year-old hopes will keep two-wheelers safe on the UK’s roads.
The organisation behind the How’s My Driving? signs is backing her bid to come up with a lorry sticker to warn cyclists against trying to pass on the inside.
Miss Friend has launched a competition to find an eye-catching design to go on more than 1,000 lorries nationwide.
She was inspired to act when an uncle was knocked off his bike after being clipped by a lorry in London.
He escaped with minor injuries, but accidents involving cyclists trying to pass large vehicles on the inside, particularly at junctions, are often fatal.
She said: “Some cyclists pull alongside a large vehicle and think they can go off faster than a bus.
“I cycle along routes where there is lots of space for you, but as soon as I get to a roundabout or junction I dismount.”
The signs would educate cyclists but also make drivers more aware of the dangers, she said.
Miss Friend, who lives in Sibford Ferris, near Banbury, added: “I think it is really important, especially in Oxford because of it’s cycling culture.
“It is not just an issue for London. It is really key in places like Oxford and Cambridge.”
Ross Smith, director at How’s My Driving?, said he was delighted to help after being contacted by the former University of East Anglia student.
He said: “When you are on a bike you don’t have a lot of time to read a notice so we are hoping people will come up with an eye-catching design or slogan.”
The social enterprise is paying for the competition and has four national haulage firms signed up to take the winning design.
He said: “Cyclists are the only category of road user where deaths have increased in the last two years. We want to do something about that.”
Banbury MP Tony Baldry launched the InTandem competition with the help of its mascot, Gus the Gorilla.
He said: “Road safety is an important issue not just in urban areas, but also in rural areas such as those surrounding Banbury.
“All road users, whether they are cyclists or drivers, must learn to give each other enough space.”
- To enter, visit the website intandem competition.com. The closing date is Monday.