June, and the final month of our Cycle to Work campaign, is upon us! The campaign continues until 24 June. Also in regard to activity campaigns, safety always comes first at Omega and we therefore want to remind you of a few simple HSE tips to keep in mind as you travel by bike or car.
Omega's HSEQ Manager, Karina Hovden Stava, encourages motorists to exhibit patience as many Norwegian companies embark on their annual Cycle to Work campaigns, which will run from April to June.
"One of the most important things we, as motorists, can do to improve traffic safety is to ensure that we don't let the cyclists we share the road with get under our skin; wait until it is safe to drive past them," says Stava. When you do have a good opportunity to pass a cyclist, it is also important to indicate so the motorists behind you can see what you intend to do.
Stava acknowledges that motorists may feel pressure to overtake in a manner that is not 100-percent safe when they are in a hurry, with a long line of cars behind them. However, Stava emphasizes that often there is very little time lost if one holds off passing a cyclist until one reaches a safe stretch of road.
"Cyclists and motorists have equal rights to the roads and highways and it is therefore important that both parties respect each other and have a good understanding of safe behavior on the road," concludes the HSEQ Manager in Omega.
Another important factor in ensuring road safety is the use of a helmet when cycling. A helmet can make a big difference in an accident. Statistics from Norway's Trygg Trafikk (safe traffic) organisation reveal that half of all cyclists in Norway use a helmet, but among adults, more men than women use a helmet.
"Using a helmet while cycling is just as natural for me as using a seat belt when I drive. My children, their friends, adolescents, and other adults will notice if others are using helmets," says Rune Halbrend from Omega's Service Center, who is participating in the Cycle to Work campaign this year.
In addition to using a helmet, Halbrend advocates the use of reflective cycling clothing and also suggests cyclists ensure their bikes have lights, both front and back.
"Look forward, but listen to what is happening behind you; take others on the road into account," suggests Halbrend.
Reflective cycling clothing in bold colors are a good investment for cyclists. Even though there is enough light for motorists to see cyclists, reflective clothing makes this easier, which, in turn, reduces the risk of accidents.