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How we should be sharing Surrey and Hampshire's roads during lockdown

3 minute read
How we should be sharing Surrey and Hampshire's roads during lockdown

Published by Lettie Buxton at 9:42am 23rd April 2020. (Updated at 9:47am 23rd April 2020)

A road safety charity says drivers and other road users need to take extra care as more people head out for their daily exercise during the coronavirus lockdown.

IAM RoadSmart says with more families out walking in groups, and more cyclists on the roads, we should be aware of making sure we share spaces safely.

IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, has put together a few simple tips:

  • Children out walking on a quiet road even with parents can be unpredictable. Slow right down, let the pedestrians sort themselves out and only then pass slowly.  Remember with social distancing, people might be forced off the pavement and into the road as they pass others.
  • Cyclists could have earphones on and music playing and may well be completely oblivious to you approaching. Slow down and give them plenty of space. Don’t try to squeeze past, you need to allow as much space as if you were passing a car. Also, remember the current limitations to our usual daily routines have seen a lot of novices back onto pedal cycles to exercise. The mixed family group on bikes is also a feature of the roads at the moment. Younger members may not be as steady and predictable as a seasoned cyclist. If in doubt stay back and do not crowd them. If in town remember a cyclist may be filtering either side of you so check before moving.
  • There may still be horses being exercised by their riders. It may be that the quiet roads have encouraged more nervous riders or animals to try new routes. Pass wide and slow is the best advice. Most riders will find somewhere to create space for you to pass. Do not be tempted to drive too close behind them as this may startle the animal and will certainly be of concern to the rider. Keep your engine revs low and turn down the volume on your radio.
  • Motorcyclists may be using the shopping trip to keep their bike running, so remember when pulling out of junctions to have that second look for them. It is easy to lose a bike in the background if you are not looking properly especially at night.

Richard said the last thing we want to do now is put any extra strain on hospitals:

"A slight misjudgement when driving can result in an incident that ends up in casualty.

"Rural areas that would never usually see pedestrians or inexperienced cyclists are home to families trying to exercise in safety away from possible infection.

"By following the advice we are always offering to our children to ‘share nicely’ we can do our part to help keep our quieter roads as safe as possible for all road users."