All of us who love this sport of cycling must contend daily with the dangers that lie therein. All modes of cycling present their own form of risk. That risk draws people to the sport in the disciplines of downhill, and mountain biking. Those who choose the road as their main method of cycling are in a constant battle with vehicles. Perhaps battle is not the correct word, but sometimes it does feel like that. Whilst the region of Galicia is not perceived to be as dangerous as London for example, risks remain apparent. And the world of cycling in Spain is doing something about it. The campaign for Spanish road safety is now flying.
La Vuelta Highlights Campaign for Spanish Road Safety
The three weeks of the Vuelta de España focus the country in the minds of the cycling world. Also, reporting of it in the main Spanish newspapers draws other sports fans to cycling. Thus, the organisers of the Vuelta have taken advantage of this to push through the national campaign for Spanish road safety laws. Called ” #PorUnaLeyJusta“, translated meaning “for a fair law”, this campaign started in 2016. Our club, Club Ciclista de la Fuente were heavily involved at its inception, after an accident that affected our team in March 2016. Carlos Moure, the “godfather” of Galician cycling has been active on social media promoting it. Because of this there has been a lot of success. The 1.5m law has been enshrined by many autonomous regions. This makes it a legal requirement to give a cyclist 1.5m of space when passing in a vehicle.
Contador and Friere Join the Fight
Two days after the start of the Vuelta, the Spanish cycling legend Alberto Contador met with the Justice minister Dolores Delgado. This meeting was very high profile, and a lot of media attended. Clearly the new law cannot be approved in just one day. However, Delgado listened intently to Contador, and gave assurances that the law would be fast-tracked. In addition, the second rest day of the Vuelta was in Torrelavega in Cantabria in northern Spain. This is the home town of Oscar Friere, the three-time world road race champion. In conjunction with ASO the organisers, Friere headed up a presentation to promote the new law. Alongside other legends of Spanish cycling, such as Pedro Delgado and Oscar Pereiro, Friere gave a passionate speech about protecting cyclists. He really helped to push the campaign for Spanish road safety on to the front page.
New Law Improved Safety
With the full backing of these revered cyclists, all of them legends in Spain, the law has a great chance of passing. There will always be dissenters, and cyclists too have responsibility to ride sensibly. However, with the threat of greater punishments for drivers who flout the law, we can only hope that it reduces accidents. Spain is at the forefront of safer cycling, and Galicia is heavily promoting the cause. We all love cycling, and we all want to enjoy it knowing that we are protected. Europe could do worse than follow the example of Spanish road safety.