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Road users

We are all road users, be it as pedestrian, cyclist, horse rider, driver or motorcyclist, and we are all exposed to the risk of using our roads. This is why road safety should be of interest to all of us. This section gives some specific advice to different groups of road users.

Drivers  

As a driver of a vehicle it is your legal duty to ensure that you obey the rules of the road and you must hold a valid driver's licence. You must have adequate insurance whether driving your own or another person’s vehicle. It is also your duty to inform your insurance company of any points you may have on your licence, as this could invalidate your insurance cover.

Registered Keeper

If you are the registered owner/ keeper of the car, it is your legal duty to ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy, adequately insured and taxed and that your details are up to date with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). It is also your duty to ensure anyone who you allow to drive your vehicle is adequately insured and holds a valid driver's licence.

Young drivers

If you have just passed your driving test - congratulations!

However, 16 to 24 year olds are disproportionately represented in our killed or seriously injured (KSI) casualty statistics. They currently make up only 11% of the Humber population and only 7% of full driving license holders nationally, but account for 23% of all killed or seriously injured casualties. One in five newly qualified drivers has a crash within a year. However, the accident liability is reduced by nearly half after two years of driving experience.

Remember: newly qualified drivers are still on "probation" for a period of two years, but if you clock up six points or more during this period, you will lose your licence and revert to learner status again. Drivers have to retake both the theory and practical parts of the test.

The main penalty point offences are:

  • Using a hand held mobile phone whilst driving: 6 points
  • Speeding: 3-6 points
  • Going through a red light: 3 points
  • Careless driving: 3-9 points
  • Driving without insurance: 6-8 points
  • Failing to stop after an accident: 5-10 points

If you have six or more penalty points, you will get a letter telling you your licence is no longer valid. You should inform your insurance company immediately. You will have to apply for a new provisional licence to continue driving as a learner.

Remember, as a learner:

  • You cannot drive on the motorway
  • You must display L plates
  • You cannot drive a car unless you are accompanied by someone over 21 who has had a full driving licence for at least three years
  • You are limited to less powerful motorbikes

Older drivers

Older drivers have more experience. They are also likely to be more tolerant and confident too, which can mean they are safer on the road than other age groups.

But your sight, hearing and judgement may not be as sharp as they were. And driving is more complex and demanding than it used to be, with more traffic on the roads.

You need to take even greater care and adjust your driving habits to compensate for any deterioration in your eyesight or judgement. A simple adaptation to your car may help if you have mobility problems.

Medical conditions

You must notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) of the onset or worsening of a medical condition that could affect your ability to drive safely, including heart problems, epilepsy and diabetes. If you are on prescribed medication, ask your doctor if it could affect your driving.

Your eyesight

It is illegal to drive if you cannot read a number plate from 20.5m (67 feet) away. Have your eyes tested regularly, as changes in your eyesight can happen slowly and without you realising it.

Refresh your skills

Even experienced drivers can slip into bad habits, so it is a good idea to refresh your knowledge from time to time and keep up-to-date with changes in the law.

Renewing your licence

You must renew your licence when you reach the age of 70 and every three years afterwards. But there is no legal cut-off age when you should stop driving - it is really up to you. It won't be an easy decision to make but don't wait for an accident to convince you it is time to stop.

Walking  

For many people, walking is their main transport for journeys under a mile. It is a healthy option and can be enjoyable and fun. Some people use their walking time as 'me time'. It is recommended that adults do 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity physical activity at least five times a week. Walking or cycling your short daily trips could achieve this target and give you a range of health benefits.

However, you still need to keep yourself safe whilst walking around the region.

Top tips

  • Wear comfortable clothing and flat, well-fitting shoes. You may want to keep a “posh” pair of shoes at work to change into and wear a pair of trainers to walk in.
  • Ensure the route you use is well lit and well used at the times you are walking. Consider starting a walking group with people from work or from your neighbourhood.
  • Stay on the footpaths if there is one provided.
  • Use pedestrian crossings where possible – they are provided for your safety.
  • Brighten yourself up - consider wearing bright coloured reflective clothes or carry a reflective bag. It may not be fashionable, but it helps drivers to spot you on dark nights.
  • Don't use headphones whilst walking – be alert and listen out for traffic while crossing the road.
  • Don't use your mobile phone – texting or talking on the phone draws your attention away from walking. You risk bumping into other pedestrians or obstacles and risk being involved in a crash when crossing the road.
  • On rural roads without footpaths, walk facing the oncoming traffic, in single file.
  • Closely supervise any children or pets walking with you.
  • Ensure that children understand that roads can be dangerous places and that they need to keep close to adults.
  • In warmer weather, remember to take a drink with you and drink from it regularly.
  • Be sure to get advice from your doctor before increasing your exercise if you haven't done any for a while or if you have a medical history that is a cause for concern.
  • Do build your walking up gradually if you haven't been active for a while. Build up the distance and walking pace over time.
  • Expect the unexpected! Don't automatically think that a driver has seen you.

Cycling  

People cycle for a whole range of reasons. It could be that it is the quickest and cheapest way for you to travel around the region, you may use your bike to keep fit, to be greener, it could be your main form of transport or just for the sheer fun of it.

Whatever the reason is that makes you get on your bike, make sure that you keep yourself safe. Always:

  • Wear a cycle helmet.
  • Wear appropriate clothing for cycling. Avoid clothes which may get tangled in the chain or in a wheel or may obscure your lights.
  • Wear light-coloured or fluorescent clothing which helps other road users to see you in daylight and poor light.
  • Wear reflective clothing and / or accessories (vest, belt, arm or ankle bands) in the dark. At night your cycle MUST hace white front and red rear lights lit.

For further information about cycling safely in our region visit Ride the Routes.

Motorcycling  

Anyone who rides a motorcycle or scooter knows that they can be the fastest way from A to B. Riding them is also exhilarating and the word is getting around - more and more people are taking up motorcycling. But with traffic conditions these days, it is more important than ever that you can deal with the unexpected.

If you are already good, make yourself better. The best motorcyclists ride defensively so they are less likely to have accidents. We all meet idiots on the roads and motorcyclists are vulnerable to their mistakes. Those with good defensive skills ride like they expect to meet one every second. They are in control, so they enjoy more relaxed riding.

Make sure you:

  • Anticipate the actions of motorists.
  • Are alert and observant this is important when you are negotiating junctions or roundabouts and when you need to look out for other vulnerable road users - children, pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
  • Ride at a speed that will enable you to slow down and stop in good time. The unexpected can happen. And ride according to the conditions: slow down if it is wet, foggy or icy.
  • Position yourself in the best place, usually the middle of the lane. But take up your road position in good time before turning right or left, showing others what you aim to do.
  • Overtake safely. Can you see hazards? Is there a bend or a junction? Can you overtake without speeding up or swerving too much?
  • Take a 'lifesaver' glance over your shoulder before carrying out manoeuvres when you need to know where other drivers are and what they are doing.
  • Are seen. Dipped headlights, even in good daylight, can help you to be seen.
  • Sometimes drivers will wind you up. But if you act aggressively you may have to pay the penalty. Count to 10 and congratulate yourself on your cool-headedness. And however tempted you are, don't race on public roads. Save it for the race track.

Motorcycle safety checklist

  • Helmet: Your most important piece of kit. Make sure the fit is snug and the helmet is in good condition. Keep the visor clean, carry a can of spray cleaner and a duster. If it is scratched, replace it. Check out the SHARP website which gives ratings of a wide range of helmet types, at a range of different prices.
  • Clothing: You need boots, trousers, gloves and a jacket to keep you dry, warm and, should the worse happen, safe. These need to be made and designed for the purpose. You will get hot in the summer, but do not be tempted to ride without any of these items. Your local dealer will give you plenty of friendly help and advice.
  • Tyres: Check air pressure and tread before every ride. Also check your tyres for potential dangers like nails.
  • Fluids: Check fuel, oil, brake fluid and coolant (where applicable).
  • Lights: Check brake lights, indicators, head and tail lights.
  • Group Riding: Requires skill and practice to be done safely and must be done in a lawful manner. Set a suitable pace for the least experienced rider in the group. Develop a system which allows the group to stay together. Arrange frequent places to stop and get together to check everyone is OK. If someone in your group drives dangerously and puts the group or themselves at risk, tell them. It is no point wishing you had when it has all gone wrong.

Bike safe

Bike Safe is an initiative run by the police forces across the UK. Its aim is to encourage motorcyclists to ride in a safe, professional and conflict free environment and to seek out further training to develop their skills and abilities. Bike Safe bridges the gap between your initial training before going onto doing more advanced rider training with a recognised provider.

The national BikeSafe team is currently undertaking a four year research study to understand if the scheme is successful. Please click here for the research reports - baseline study and one year on reports.

Workshops can be booked online via the BikeSafe website.