Road Safety Week (India January 11th)

I know this is a subject that is very close to Ed’s heart. As we enter this new year let us do it safely.

Raising awareness of road safety seems so obvious and so necessary. There was a time when children were taught to ride bikes at school. This led to the Cycling Proficiency Test that was a test given by Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. This training   served as a minimum recommended standard for cycling on British roads. We even got a shiny badge once we had passed.

It was superseded by the National Standards for Cycle Training, branded “Bikeability”, in England in 2007. 

I am not sure at how successful it has been as an announced was mad in 2020.

“The government has today (7 February 2020) announced all children in England will be taught the skills for a lifetime of cycling, as its Bikeability training programme is significantly expanded.”

If this was to be expanded in 2020 I wonder, with Covid, how many schools have actually managed to reintroduce cycling classes for their pupils?

From my own experience I have found that car drivers who stared off as bike riders when they were kids are generally safer and have a greater awareness of other road users when they get older. Awareness and awakeness is the key to reducing the risk to people using the road network of being killed or seriously injured. The users on the road include pedestrians, cyclists,  motor cyclists, motorists, their passengers, and passengers of on-road public transport, mainly buses and trams.

Important Traffic Rules To Follow To Ensure Safety While Driving

  • Always wear a seatbelt.
  • Avoid distractions.
  • Do not cross the speed limits.
  • Service your car regularly.
  • Follow traffic signals.
  • Maintain lane discipline.
  • Be careful during bad weather.
  • Maintain a safe distance.

The bottom line to all this is that we need to get out of cars and walk and cycle. It is then that we become in touch with the real environment rather than the metal bubble that we live in when we are driving a car. The research on the benefits of walking and cycling are legion. There is a measurable increase in wellbeing from feel good endorphins to cardiac function, cognition and being happy.  

As a kid on the council estate us kids would all tip out in the morning and thousands of us would walk to various schools. I guess that we were all street wise and new the rules of the road and that kept us safe. I am not sure at what point we decided that it was unsafe out there and that we had to take our kids everywhere in our cars but what we have created is generations of people who have never interacted in a simple way on the road and have only ever really seen it through the windscreen of a car.

I think that in the end road safety comes from education and in this case it is learning from doing. We need to walk our kids to school, cycle to them to the shops so that they can see what it is like to be a road user – not just a car driver or passenger.

So, maybe our collective New Years resolution should be to get out of the cars always and cycle and educate our kids to become good a responsible road users.

Happy new year and travel safely

Sean x

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