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BMF supports the AA’s “Think Bikes” Campaign

On the 10th anniversary of the original campaign, the AA’s message remains as relevant as ever with 350 motorcyclists and 91 cyclists alone killed on UK roads in 2022. It is important that we continue to increase motorists’ awareness of those on 2 wheels to reduce the continuing high number of collisions and fatalities caused by a failure to see them on time. Government road traffic statistics show that cycles and motorcycles make up just 2.75% of miles travelled compared to cars but account for more than one quarter of road deaths. This is completely unacceptable and highlights the importance for all drivers to look out for vulnerable road users and to always think bikes when out on the road.

10th Anniversary of AA Think Bikes Campaign
More than quarter killed on the roads are on two wheels

• A decade of promoting bike safety
• 91 cyclists and 350 motorcyclists killed in 2022
• Total road deaths 1,711 in 2022 of which 441 were on two wheels
• Nearly 9 out of 10 drivers say cyclists are hard to see

2024 is the 10th anniversary of The AA’s ‘Think Bikes’ initiative.

The original AA Charitable Trust campaign encouraged drivers to place small Think Bikes stickers on their side mirrors to remind them to look out for those on two wheels. The campaign has won numerous awards including the FIA Innovation Award and has been replicated in 24 countries across the globe. Think Bikes was the brainchild of Tony Rich former Patrol of the Year and now Public Relations Manager, after the death of his friend Jack Bellis in a motorcycle crash.

The AA and supporters say the campaign is as relevant today as it was ten years ago so the campaign will continue.

Since its launch, the campaign has been adopted by many European motoring clubs. It has also been recognised by internationally renowned motoring bodies by awarding it the FIA Innovation Award and FIM Global Road Safety Award.

Government statistics released last September reveal that in 2022, 91 cyclists (down 20% on 2014 figures), and 350 motorcyclists (up 5% on 2014) were killed, and 15,693 cyclists (down 25% on 2014) and 16,943 motorcyclists (down almost 17% on 2014) were injured in Great Britain.

In January 2022 the Highway Code was changed to include or update several rules to promote safety on the road, whilst supporting a healthy, sustainable, and efficient transport system to make cyclists feel and be safer on the roads.

These included a “Hierarchy of Road Users”, new rules on road positioning for cyclists and passing distance for drivers.

Dutch Reach

In 2022, 373 cyclists and motorcyclists were injured by car occupants opening their doors without looking according to Government data. Whilst this is down on previous years there is a safety technique which could bring it down further. The Dutch Reach is a way of opening car doors from the inside with the hand furthest from the handle.

It’s been used in the Netherlands since at least the 1970s and gives you a chance to check your mirrors and blind spot before opening the door.

New research conducted by The AA** reveals that 89% of drivers agreed ‘it’s sometimes hard to see cyclists’ which supports our call for drivers to be more alert and always Think Bikes. Elsewhere, less than 20% of respondents had heard of the Dutch Reach, compared with 43% who know about Dutch Reach but don’t use it.

When the changes to the highway code were introduced, they provided more specific advice on passing distances and state – “leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists at speeds of up to 30mph, and give them more space when overtaking at higher speeds.” However, 37% of the respondents to our survey say they get nervous when overtaking cyclists with youngers drivers (53%) more nervous than older drivers (38%).

On a positive note, the survey found that 95% said that cyclists were vulnerable, and they always give them extra space.

In terms of attitudes between cyclists and drivers the survey shows that more needs to be done to promote harmony – 15% said they’d lost their temper and used hand signals towards a cyclist and 20% said they’d been on the receiving end of this type of behaviour. The AA points out that drivers are often cyclists and most adult cyclists are also drivers.

Jeremy Vine, Broadcaster and cyclist, said: “I’m so pleased to see that the AA is doing this because, if you’re on two wheels, you do feel quite vulnerable. And I always think when you’re in a car and I drive too, you don’t always see that that person on the bicycle is a mum, a sister, somebody’s son, someone’s grandfather, maybe even their great grandfather. So, thank you AA for thinking bike.”

Edmund King, Director of The AA Charitable Trust, said: “The survey shows that 89% of drivers agreed that it is ‘hard to see cyclists’ but it shouldn’t be if they look in the right places and Think Bikes. It is now 10 years since we launched our Think Bike sticker campaign. But unfortunately, the message is still as relevant today as it was a decade ago. Cycles and motorcycles make up just 2.75% of miles travelled compared to cars** but account for more than one quarter of road deaths. This is why it is essential to spread the message again to all drivers to think bikes.”

Chris Boardman, Olympic and World Champion and cycling and walking advocate, said: “It’s hard to believe the think bike sticker campaign launched 10 years ago, and I was there when that happened. The idea to make drivers just a little bit more aware of the vulnerable road users around them. Really glad to see that the AA is reinvigorating the campaign and I’ll be glad to join in and help.”

Paul Morgan CBE, Government Relations Executive, British Motorcyclists Federation, said: “Motorcyclists and drivers share the roads together and it is important that we look out for each other. And, given the particular vulnerability of motorcyclists, it is important that we increase motorists’ awareness of motorcyclists on the road to reduce collisions caused by a failure to see them on time. That is why we support the AA ‘Think Bikes’ campaign, to remind drivers and those on two wheels to look out for each other to keep us all safe on the roads.”

Craig Carey-Clinch, Executive Director, National Motorcyclists Council, said: “Ten years on and Think Bikes is just as important as it was when launched, if not more so. The message is also now internationally important, and we all have a duty to share the road and to look out for each other. With motorcyclists being among the most vulnerable of all road users, it’s vital that the Think Bikes message continues to be driven home to all road users.”

Ten years of Think Bikes

• The campaign was launched in March 2014 at Marble Arch, London, with the help of famous Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman, 20-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness and with support from the Metropolitan Police.
• More than six million free stickers have been distributed via member renewal packs, AA Driving School, BSM, AA patrols, fleets, Halfords and personal requests.
• The campaign launch was supported by the Transport Secretary, Road Safety Minister, Department for Transport, Police, Mayor of London and a host of cycling and freight groups.
• The success of the UK Campaign spread and, with support from the FIA, the campaign has now been conducted in 24 countries across the world with more interest regularly being expressed from countries such as Canada and Australia.
• The campaign has won numerous awards including the FIA Innovation Award.
Ten years since the original launch, The AA is still committed to spreading the original messages of the ‘Think Bikes’ campaign and all new AA vehicles are still fitted with the stickers. The AA is also encouraging other fleets to adopt the Think Bike stickers. The AA Trust will also continue to highlight the Think Bike messages to drivers through campaigning, social media and working with partners.

The AA Trust has more stickers available. To request them please email

Press release by AA Press Office and Public Affairs

** Yonder received 12,707 responses from AA members to its online poll between the 11th to 18th March 2024. Yonder is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.