Road Safety Tips
We can’t stop accidents from happening, but we can all take steps to make the roads a little safer. The followings tips provide some useful safety advice for road users.
1. Know your crossings
Pelican, puffin, zebra and toucan all have what in common? They’re all types of road crossings, and if you don’t know which is which then you might need a little refresher for your safety. In general, pelican, puffin and toucan crossings are all signal controlled crossings where you must wait for the traffic to stop at a red light before crossing. Zebra crossings are not signal controlled, and traffic will stop to allow you to cross when you approach, although always remember to look both ways before crossing. Ensure that the traffic has seen you before you cross, and wait to check if any cars behind the stopped car are trying to overtake.
2. Use the pavement where possible
As a pedestrian it’s important that you use the pavements whenever possible. Stepping onto the road can be dangerous. If you must briefly step onto the road to pass by obstacles, ensure the road is clear and it is safe to do so. If there is no pavement and you must travel on the road, always try to walk facing the oncoming traffic, which gives both pedestrian and driver time to spot each other and get out of the way if necessary. Sometimes it may be necessary to cross to the over side, for example if you’re approaching a tight, right bend. Never walk on roads that are meant only for vehicular traffic, such as motorways, as this is an offence.
3. Try to be visible at all times
Even if there is a pavement, walking along dark roads can be dangerous if you aren’t visible to cars. During the day, wear fluorescent or bright clothing and in the dark wear something reflective if possible. Walking along roads without a pavement at night may be dangerous, but if this is necessary you should wear reflective clothing and consider a white light to alert oncoming traffic of your presence.
For Horse Riders
1. Avoid riding in low visibility
Horse riders on the road should always wear fluorescent or reflective clothing, both on themselves and on their horse, this is particularly important when riding in failing light, fog or darkness. Riding in poor light conditions should be avoided as a driver may not see you and your horse until it’s too late, particularly if they are travelling at high speeds. Even if you avoid an accident, the sudden appearance of a car may still startle and panic the horse which could end in you or your horse being hurt.
2. Keep your group to a maximum of eight mounted riders.
A very large group of horses and riders on the road means there is more chance of an accident occurring. An accident could be caused if one horse becomes startled and panics the rest of the group and also, drivers are not used to seeing large group of horses and may be unsure of how to pass by safely. To help any drivers on the road, it is advisable to move into single file wherever possible and don’t ride more than two abreast on the road at any time.
3. If your horse is nervous, bring a friend
If your horse is new to the roads then it may become startled very easily. Though the majority of drivers are considerate to horses, many cars still don’t slow down enough when passing horses and often accelerate too quickly after passing. For a horse that is new to the roads, this may cause it to panic and act erratically or unpredictably. It’s helpful to take out an experienced rider and a horse with you as the horse is much more likely to stay calm if it is with an experienced horse and rider who know how to handle these situations.