Automobile Association president talks cycling to engineering students

Students at Newcastle University have today had a lecture on cycling from Edmund King, president of the AA.
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The AA Charitable Trust Think Bikes campaign is to be rolled out in other European countries, said AA president Edmund King, addressing a transport seminar at Newcastle University earlier today. King is a visiting professor at the university, where he himself was a student (34 years ago, he saidm ruefully).

The campaign, launched in the UK in March this year, advises drivers to place small cycle and motorcycle stickers on their car side mirrors to remind them to Think Bikes. More than 6 million stickers have already been distributed.

The campaign was launched as "failure to look properly’" is the most common cited contributory factor in UK road crashes.

In 2013 there were 331 motorcyclist deaths and 109 cyclist deaths.

The AA campaign was rolled out to the media as well as having a strong presence on social media. A YouTube video features a video of a naked cyclist with the tagline "If you don’t look in your mirror, you don’t know what you are missing." The video has had 250,000+ views since launch, and has been shown at a transport session of the United Nations.

King said: “We campaign to reduce deaths for all road users but the Think Bikes campaign is specifically aimed at drivers to make them more aware of the presence of those on two wheels. We also hope it will reinforce the message to those on two wheels that not all drivers are as vigilant as they should be or may sometimes have trouble spotting two wheelers in their blind spot.

"Since the campaign won an FIA Innovation Award, other motoring clubs around Europe are looking to replicate the campaign in their countries.

“We are also pleased that the campaign has been recognised in the UK and is short-listed for cycle campaign of the year in the Cycling Media Awards when winners will be announced tomorrow night.

Free Think Bikes stickers are available on request for interested businesses, fleets and organisations to distribute. Requests should be emailed to publicaffairs@theaa.com.

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