Staying safe on Devon’s roads

Posted on: 19 October 2015

Devon County Council is reminding road users to “brighten up” when the clocks go back on Sunday 25 October.

As British Summer Time ends, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders are being urged to wear reflective and fluorescent clothing to ensure they can be seen on the county’s roads as the winter nights draw in.

Car drivers are also being asked to “give cyclists space” and look out for all other road users, especially when visibility is limited due to mist, rain and fog.

Between October and December in 2014, two pedestrians in Devon were killed and 14 pedestrians were seriously injured, while 13 cyclists and 11 motorcyclists in the county were seriously injured. During that time 20% of all injury accidents occurred in the rain.

Nationally, just under 1,600 pedestrians were either killed or seriously injured on roads and around 800 cyclists were either killed or seriously injured during this time.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said:

“We’re committed to improving safety on Devon’s roads and at this time of year bright fluorescent clothing and reflective strips on jackets, bags or helmets can help some of the most vulnerable road users to be seen by passing traffic. Cyclists, pedestrians, horse-riders and motorcyclists should make themselves as visible as possible. It’s even more important at this time of year as the evenings draw in and fog and rain can affect visibility. I would encourage all road users to take extra care in order to stay safe this autumn and winter.”

The advice from Devon County Council is:

• Pedestrians should, wherever possible, use marked crossing points on roads, and even on a zebra or light controlled crossing they should wait until traffic has stopped before attempting to cross;

• Cyclists must comply with the law by using a white front light, a red back light and a red reflector at the back;

• Horse riders should select crossing points very carefully and show courtesy to drivers who have slowed down for them;

• Drivers should travel at an appropriate, lower speed for the conditions and look out for – and give space to – walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Check your ‘blind spot’ before changing course direction as there could be a motorcyclist alongside you;

Drivers should also be aware that the majority of incidents resulting in injury involve a car – even though the casualty may be a pedestrian, cyclist, horse rider or motorcyclist.

• All road users should look out for each other and take care, particularly in wet or icy conditions or if there are leaves on the road.

To show your support for the “give cyclists space” campaign you can order a car sticker from environment@devon.gov.uk

More information for motorcyclists is available here, and for cyclists here.

Posted in: Environment