On 21 April, FIA Region I held the pan-European launch “Think Bikes” campaign to raise awareness for vulnerable road users on bikes, motorcycles and scooters with the support of Belgian bike racing star Eddy Merckx and MEP Wim van de Camp.
Belgian cycling star Eddy Merckx said: “In the past, thousands of people came to watch me as I rode at the head of the race. Today when I ride nobody comes to watch, but it doesn’t have to be a problem if drivers look out for cyclists and motorcyclists. I hope that we can all share the road and that many people will join us for this campaign.”
MEP Wim van de Camp said: “As a motorcyclist, I think this message is overdue. Drivers need reminders. I am happy to lend my support to this event on behalf of motorcycle users. It is my hope that today we can improve awareness and perhaps avoid accidents between cars and two-wheelers in the future.”
FIA Region I President, Thierry Willemarck said: “In the spring the number of bikes, motorcycles and scooters multiplies and drivers need to be reminded that they share the road with vulnerable road users. With 7500 riders being killed each year, drivers must act responsibly. I hope to see our stickers on the side view mirrors of cars, serving as an everyday reminder for drivers to think bikes!”
The launch event took place in front of the European Parliament in Brussels in Place du Luxembourg. Additional supporters of the campaign included Belgian motorsport champion, Jacky Ickx; Belgian motorcycle racing champion Didier de Radiguès; MEP Olga Sehnalová; MEP Dieter-Lebrecht Koch; Belgian Federal Minister of Mobility, Jacqueline Galant; Brussels Region Minister for Mobility, Pascal Smet; Flemish Minister for Mobility, Ben Weyts; FIA Foundation Director General, Saul Billingsley; The AA UK President, Edmund King; and the support of the local Automobile Club, Touring Belgium. The event included the distribution of think bikes stickers to passers-by.
The event also served to launch Touring Belgium’s national Think Bikes campaign, entitled ‘Partageons nos routes’ (let’s share our roads). The campaign will continue in Belgium for the rest of the year. Think Bikes was originally launched as a road safety initiative of the AA UK in 2014. One million free stickers were distributed to drivers as a reminder to do a ‘double-take’ in their mirrors for cycles and motorcycles in their blind spots. Following the campaign’s success, it has been adopted by FIA Region I and will be carried out in 12 countries in Europe, and the Middle East.
In Brussels, a total of ten thousand free stickers will be distributed to drivers as a reminder to ‘check your mirrors’ for cyclists, scooters and motorcycles. Specifically, this means that drivers must:
NOTES TO EDITORS