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Being Aware of Vulnerable Road Users

Road users on two wheels and pedestrians are more likely to be killed or seriously injured than car drivers.

In recent news, police officers from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit took part in an operation called Close Pass which focuses on the dangers faced by cyclists as a result of motorists who drive too close to them. This was to raise awareness to highlight the dangers that vulnerable road users on two wheels face.

Police officers have been speaking with drivers, providing information and educating drivers when they overtook a cyclist too closely. The road safety advice included looking out for other road users, and particularly vulnerable road users.

Road safety of those on two wheels

To improve the safety of those on two wheels, it is suggested that drivers:

  • Slow down to give more time to spot danger and react
  • Look properly for bikes before pulling out at junctions
  • Leave at least a 150cm gap when overtaking a bike
  • Do the ‘Dutch reach’, using the opposite hand to open a car door to help avoid ‘car dooring’ incidents
  • There is also now an increase in new modes of transport which are more likely to be vulnerable including e-bikes and e-scooters. Electric bicycles are bicycles with an electric motor that assists the user’s pedal power. E-bikes accelerate much faster than traditional bikes which may mean resulting accidents and injuries are more severe for the user but also pedestrians.

Pedestrians are also one of the vulnerable user groups.

Road safety of those on foot

To improve the safety of those on foot, it is suggested that drivers:

  • Slow down when there are lots of stationary vehicles and obstructions
  • Take additional care at crossings and junctions
  • Watch out for pedestrianised areas
  • Take additional care where children may suddenly appear
  • Watch out for people in dark clothing at night time
  • Check all blind spots before reversing
  • Eliminate all distractions whilst driving
  • Be careful when entering/exiting driveways

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