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Saturday, July 22, 2017, 12:38 am

Pedestrian Road Safety Tips

You may consider pedestrian road safety to be a matter of common sense and personal choice but it is important to remind ourselves from time to time of the helpful tips below to maximise our safety whilst walking alongside and crossing our increasingly busy roads.

In particular, parents should make sure their children and young people are aware of the following points:

  • When crossing the road, remember to keep looking both ways. Use pedestrian crossings whenever possible as these are there to help you and drivers.
  • If pavements or footpaths are not provided, then always walk on the side of the road facing the traffic to ensure you can see any approaching vehicles. Where possible, avoid walking next to the kerb with your back to the traffic and if you have to step into the road, always look both ways first.
  • Try not to cross the road between parked cars. Walking a short distance to find a clear view of the road or to find a provided crossing could mean avoiding a potential accident.
  • If you have to cross the road between parked cars, always check that they are not about to manoeuvre out of the parking space by listening for vehicle noise and checking for car occupants.
  • Concentrate whilst you are crossing the road. If you are talking on a mobile phone, it is advisable to stop the conversation whilst you are crossing the road.
  • If there is a car coming whilst you are in the middle of crossing the road, make eye contact with the driver to make sure they have seen you.
  • Make sure you have plenty of time to cross and do not run across the road.
  • Think about what you are wearing as dressing all in black does not help the car driver to see you. Try to wear something bright or reflective, especially in the dark.
  • You must not walk on motorways or slip roads except in an emergency.

Child Safety:

Roads and vehicles are an everyday part of life for all of us. Either as a driver, a passenger, or as a pedestrian, we all must negotiate the road traffic environment on a daily basis. Children are especially vulnerable around vehicles and roads due to their size and capabilities. Be aware of the opportunities to teach children to become safer road-users.

  • Walk down to the local shop for groceries or the newspaper with your children when you can.
  • Park the car and walk around to the sports ground, on the way explaining the observations and choices you make to get there safely.
  • Talk about the importance of wearing seat belts and insist that everyone in the vehicle wears appropriate restraints for their age and size.
  • Point out rules of the road when driving. • Always demonstrate responsible and safe behaviours when driving, as a passenger or while walking anywhere around vehicles and roads.
  • Remember children learn good habits by modelling behaviour from adults.

Cyclists

  • Keeping your bicycle roadworthy
  • Your brakes, tyres, chain, lights, reflector and bell must all be in good working order.
  • Your bicycle should be the right size to allow you to touch the ground with both feet.
  • When carrying goods, you should use a proper carrier or basket and take care that nothing is hanging loose.
  • At night you must carry a lamp showing a white or yellow light to the front and a lamp showing a red light to the back. These are the minimum lighting requirements laid down by law.

However, to be even more visible to motorists at night, you should:

  • add strips of reflective material to the bike (white to the front and red to the back),
  • wear a reflective armband, and
  • wear a "Sam Browne" reflective belt or reflective vest.
  • Obey the road rules including stopping at traffic signals and stop signs and giving way at intersections.
  • Ride predictably in a straight line, signal your intention to turn or change lanes.
  • Look for other vehicles at intersections; never assume a driver has seen you.
  • Keep to the left and ride at least 1m clear of the kerb and parked cars; watch for unexpected opening car doors.
  • Be seen. During the day wear bright coloured clothing. At night wear light coloured clothing and use a white front light and red rear light.
  • Riding two abreast is legal however don't hog the road and allow others to overtake.

Daylight riding

  • Make yourself as visible as possible from the side, as well as the front and rear.
  • Wear a white helmet and fluorescent clothing or strips.
  • Use dipped headlights. Even in good daylight, they may make you more visible.

Night-time riding

  • Wear reflective clothing or strips to improve your chance of being seen in the dark. These reflect light from the headlamps of other vehicles, making you more visible from a long distance. Lights You must have on your motorcycle or moped:
  • a white or yellow head lamp,
  • a red rear lamp,
  • a red rear reflector, and
  • a number plate light on the back.

In order to be seen at all times it is important to:

  • Use your dipped headlights at all times.
  • Use headlights at night and during the day when visibility is seriously reduced.
  • Slow down, and if necessary stop, if you are dazzled by oncoming headlights.
  • Use full headlights when appropriate to do so.
  • Use your hazard warning lights when your motorcycle or moped is stopped in a dangerous place.
  • Make sure all sidelights and rear number plate lights are lit at night.

Carrying passengers
You must not carry a passenger if you hold a learner permit and this is a penal offence. If you wish to carry a passenger, make sure your full licence and your insurance policy allows you to do so. The rider should make certain the passenger wears appropriate PPE (properly fitted & secured helmet, motorcycle jacket, trousers, gloves and boots.

A rider must not carry more than one pillion passenger who must sit on a proper seat. They should face forward with both feet on the footrests. Riders must not carry a pillion passenger unless their motorcycle is designed to do so.

Passengers

"Make sure passengers (and kids) are always properly buckled up. "Wearing a seatbelt doubles your chances of surviving a serious crash. Passengers not wearing seatbelts can kill or seriously injure others in the car if, for example, the driver has to brake suddenly.

Motorists

Speeding

The difference of a few miles per hour can mean the difference between life and death. The faster you are driving, the less time you have to stop if something unexpected happens.Speed limits are there for a reason and are the absolute maximum you should be driving. It does not mean it is safe to drive at that speed regardless of the conditions. Driving too fast for the road conditions can be dangerous.

Mobile phones

It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving. If you use a mobile phone while driving your attention will be distracted from the road. Reaction times for drivers using a phone are around 50 percent slower than in normal driving.

Seat belts

Always wear a seatbelt. In a crash you are twice as likely to die if you don't. The law states that you must wear a seatbelt if one is available, unless you are exempt.

Young drivers

1 in 5 drivers crash within the first 12 months of passing their test.
  • learning to drive
  • your driving test
  • owning a car
  • driving safely
  • the consequences of wreck less driving.

Fatigue

Studies have shown that drivers don't fall asleep without warning. Drivers who fall asleep at the wheel have often tried to fight off drowsiness by opening a window, or by turning up the radio. This doesn't work for long.

Alcohol

If you're going to drink, arrange another means of transport so that you don't have to drive. Your driving is seriously affected when you've been drinking alcohol. This is because alcohol:
  • gives you a false sense of confidence
  • reduces co-ordination
  • slows down reactions
  • affects judgement of speed, distance and risk.

Drugs

Driving under the influence of drugs, whether illegal or prescribed, is just as dangerous as drink driving. Check the instructions on the packet or bottle for side effects before driving. Never take illegal drugs before driving. The effects are unpredictable and can include:
  • slower reaction times
  • erratic and aggressive behaviour
  • inability to concentrate properly
  • hallucinations
  • panic attacks
  • dizziness
  • tiredness.

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