Stay­ing safe when the nights draw in

Macclesfield Express - - SCHOOLS NEWS -

WITH sum­mer well and truly over and the clocks now re­vert­ing to GMT, the nights will be draw­ing in.

Dur­ing the pe­riod of shorter day­light hours (Oc­to­ber to March) we sta­tis­ti­cally see more in­ci­dents in­volv­ing pedes­tri­ans and vul­ner­a­ble road users than dur­ing other months. With the most in­ci­dents be­ing be­tween 3pm and 7pm we need to keep our eyes peeled for our vul­ner­a­ble pedes­tri­ans in the dark.

This week’s tips for keep­ing pedes­tri­ans safe are from IAM Road­S­mart’s head of driv­ing and rid­ing stan­dards, Richard Glad­man.

• Keep an eye on your speed, re­mem­ber you are twice as likely to kill a pedes­trian if driv­ing at 35mph as you are driv­ing at 30mph. Be es­pe­cially aware near schools, the only pre­dictable thing about chil­dren is how un­pre­dictable they can be. Re­mem­ber 20 in these ar­eas re­ally is plenty.

• Chil­dren can be harder to see and may run out be­tween parked ve­hi­cles, so re­mem­ber to ‘LOOK OUT’ (over, un­der and through) ve­hi­cles, as you might just spot some­one be­fore they step out.

• Some pedes­tri­ans give a tell-tale sign of what they are about to do – look out for peo­ple who keep look­ing over their shoul­der, they might be look­ing to cross the road. If you have a gen­er­ous space in front of you and ve­hi­cles be­hind you they may well run across rather than wait for all the traf­fic to come past. You also need to watch for mo­bile phone ‘zom­bies’, if you see some­one con­cen­trat­ing on their phone they are not con­cen­trat­ing on the traf­fic, so be ready for them to just step out.

• When pass­ing sta­tion­ary ve­hi­cles keep at least a door’s width when­ever pos­si­ble, not just for the car door that might open into your path, but also for some­one or some­thing com­ing out into your path from be­tween the ve­hi­cles.

• Be con­sid­er­ate where you park, as park­ing too close to a junc­tion can ob­struct some­one’s view and make it harder to see; also be aware of not ob­struct­ing pave­ments and dropped kerbs.

• When it’s rain­ing and blow­ing a gale pedes­tri­ans are more likely to dash about and road safety of­ten falls lower on their list of pri­or­i­ties than try­ing to keep dry.

• With the clocks just gone back it can take chil­dren on bikes a bit of time to get used to the fact they need lights and they can of­ten get caught out be­ing out with­out lights. Make sure your chil­dren are aware of the need for lights on bikes

Richard said: “In a per­fect world pedes­tri­ans would all be on the pave­ment and would never have to cross a road. In a near per­fect one a pedes­trian on a road would be wear­ing flash­ing high viz and your car would be shout­ing about their pres­ence. In our real world it is up to us to share the road space, be aware and help where we can. An ef­fort to be cour­te­ous will go a long way to mak­ing some­one’s day and will help keep us all safe.”

Watch out for pedes­tri­ans in the road on dark nights and morn­ings

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