Road deaths prompt call for cycling safety tests
POLICE in Hucknall are calling on all young cyclists to take a proficiency test, following the death of two teenagers in the area this year.
Harrison Carlin, 15, died when he was hit by a car as he cycled along Forest Lane, Papplewick, in July, on the way to play football with his friends.
Harrison's school, the National Academy, suffered a second tragedy in September when 12-year-old Jeffrey Townley died after a collision with a van in Linby Road, Hucknall.
Now, Sergeant Simon Scales, neighbourhood policing officer for Hucknall, has made it his mission to educate young people about road safety.
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He says every young cyclist should do a cycle proficiency test called Bikeability.
The scheme, delivered in Notts by the county council's road safety team, aims to train half a million children to cycle safely by the end of the year.
The ultimate aim is that no child should leave primary school without the training.
So far, around 250,000 young cyclists in the country have taken part and received a Bikeability badge.
"I'm calling on everybody to get on board," Sgt Scales said. "This road safety course is about protecting the next generation, helping it to survive and making sure the youngsters get through life without serious injuries."
Sgt Scales has also been promoting a government road safety initiative called Tales of the Road by giving talks at all of Hucknall's primary schools and handing out more than 1,000 leaflets on raod safety. "This is a brilliant government campaign, but I don't think enough people know about it.
"It's a fantastic resource but children need to be reminded about road safety every day."
Sgt Scales and his team have also given out 200 bike lights for free and are currently raising funds to hand out 200 more.
"People aren't aware that cycling in the dark is against the law and can lead to a fine of up to £30," he said.
His team also supports the Put Things Right group, which has been set up to reduce the risk of more children and teenagers in Hucknall losing their lives on roads.
A spokesman for the county council said 154 schools across the county took part in the cycle training scheme last year and, this year, more than 2,000 pupils will receive Level 2 training.
Every junior school in Hucknall has already booked courses for this school year.
For more information, visit www.putthingsright.org.uk.