Sharing the Road

25 Sep 2017

UK roads are getting busier every year, and more than ever it’s important to be aware of different road users and be respectful of their needs and vulnerabilities. Whether you’re a motorist, cyclist, biker, equestrian or pedestrian, being tolerant and considerate leads to safer and less stressful journeys for all.

Things we can do to help cyclists:

  • Give them room to manoeuvre, at junctions, when passing stationary cars, and when passing potholes and debris.
  • Only overtake when it’s safe to do so, and pass wide (it is advised to give a cyclist as much room as you would when overtaking a car)
  • Be patient when they adopt the ‘Primary Position’ – riding in the centre of the lane is good practice in many circumstances and keeps both you and the cyclist safe
  • Always check for cyclists when you cross the road, not just motor vehicles
  • Indicate clearly, and establish eye contact to ensure the cyclist has seen you
  • Check before opening doors when parked on the side of a road
  • Don’t walk or park in cycle lanes or drive into the advanced stop area at traffic lights

Things we can do to help motorists:

  • Use lights and reflectors at night to be more conspicuous to motorists
  • Allow them to pass when and where safe to do so
  • Signal clearly and establish eye contact so ensure the motorist has seen you
  • Remember that vehicles have blind spots so try to avoid these spaces
  • Use crossings correctly and don’t jump red lights
  • Be cautious when filtering through slow moving traffic

Things we can do to help bikers:

  • Take longer to check for motorbikes and scooters at junctions and when changing lanes
  • Be patient with speed limited scooters
  • Give them plenty of room  when overtaking
  • Signal your intentions clearly
  • Check before opening doors when parked on a road

Things we can do to help horse riders:

  • Pass wide and slow (maximum 15mph speed and minimum 2 metre distance is recommended) or pull in until they pass you
  • Be patient if horse riders are riding two abreast – one of them may be an inexperienced rider or riding a young/timid horse
  • Don’t rev engines or pull away quickly after overtaking as this can startle the horse
  • Use a bell or hail them verbally from a distance if you’re approaching on a from behind on a bicycle

Things we can do to help pedestrians:

  • Establish eye contact at crossings to ensure they have seen you
  • Be patient if they do not cross if you stop for them – they may be aware of other hazards that you cannot see
  • Be aware of pedestrians, especially young people, who may be intending to cross the road
  • Keep to the speed limit, and adjust it according to bad weather
  • Signal clearly
  • Use a bell or hail verbally when approaching on a bike or horse

All road users should as a rule expect the unexpected, give people the benefit of the doubt and anticipate other people’s needs. If you’re uncertain about the intention of another road user, hold back to give them space. Obey the rules of the road, be patient and courteous, and help make both your and other road user’s journeys calmer and safer.


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