Queensland’s share the road campaign

October 14, 2012 at 11:32 am | Posted in GHS | 5 Comments
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In the previous post we’ve focused on things that drivers can do to prevent getting into accidents with cyclists. However, this does not mean that we place the blame and responsibility just on the driver, we are aware that there are cyclists out there who don’t follow the road rules or think they don’t apply to them. A way to change the attitudes and behaviors of both drivers and cyclists is by making them equally accountable for their actions.

This is an approach that has been adopted by the Queensland government’s Department of Transport and Main Roads. They have created the Share the road campaign which seeks to educate the public about how cyclists and motorists can share the road responsibly. By doing this they hope to improve road safety for cyclists and increase the number of cyclists in Queensland.

Below are two posters that have been used widely in the campaign:

Campaign poster aimed at cyclists about the importance of following road rules

Another campaign poster, this time directed at drivers so that they give cyclists enough space on the road

As you can tell from the posters above, the Safe the road campaign is not trying to shift all the blame on to one group of road users and I think this is what makes it effective as it acknowledges that cyclists and motorists both have a part to play in keeping our roads safe.

I think this represents what we are trying to achieve with our campaign which is to make road safety everybody’s responsibility rather than making it about one group or individual. I think viewing it this way will mean that more people can feel empowered and motivated to change the way they think and act on the road.

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Sharing the road with cyclists

October 14, 2012 at 12:21 am | Posted in GHS | 2 Comments
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Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on the road that drivers do.

In particular, drivers need to be aware that cyclists are more vulnerable on the road compared to them so they need to do everything in their power to keep the roads safe.

Below are some valuable tips that will make it easier to share the road with cyclists:

  • When your passing a cyclist give them enough space, at least half a car’s width
  • When you overtake a cyclist make sure you give them lost of room. Only overtake if your sure that it’s safe
  • Check your rear and side view mirrors before turning right our left and opening your car door
  • Cyclist are like any other road user so give them way when necessary and travel at a safe following distance
  • Try to avoid overtaking a cyclist, wait until it is safe to overtake or if a cyclist is ahead of you and you wish to turn left then turn behind the cyclist
  • Keep a look out for cyclists at night time, early in the morning or at dusk. If your approaching a cyclist under these conditions then make sure you dip your headlights
  • Be very careful around cyclists if it has been raining as they have to contend with oily, slippery roads and poor visibility
  • Don’t drive or park in a cycle lane
  • Don’t forget to indicate so that the cyclist knows upfront when you want to change lanes or turn a corner
  • If your driving near a school or a place where children may be riding their bike then be extra vigilant. This is because young riders can be unpredictable and not aware of the road rules so you need to anticipate their movements by giving them extra space and slowing down around schools
  • Treat cyclists with respect and courtesy
  • Cyclists can make sudden maneuvers so that they avoid uneven road surfaces and obstacles like drain covers, wet or icy patches on the road. This is why you need to give them plenty of room
  • When your heading towards a roundabout be aware that a cyclist may signal right when they are in the left lane so that they can continue round the roundabout
  • If your passing a cyclist make sure you pass them at a cautious speed
  • Remember to keep a three feet minimum distance when passing a cyclist. By doing this you can prevent a rear-end accident which could prove fatal for the cyclist

Remember that we should hold cyclists in high regard as by choosing not to drive they are benefiting everyone as they are reducing traffic congestion, pollution and road wear.

For more tips on sharing the road with cyclists then check out Safe Cycling in Sydney’s blog post on 6 things drivers can do to improve relations with cyclists.

Sources

1) Department of Transport and Main Roads (2012) Sharing the road with cyclists [online]. Available at: http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Safety/Driver-guide/Driving-safely/Sharing-the-road-with-cyclists.aspx  [Accessed 13 September 2012].

2) Torbay Council (2012) Ten Steps to Considerate Driving For Cyclist Safety [online]. Available at: http://www.torbay.gov.uk/index/yourbay/sports/cycling/ten-steps-to-considerate-driving-for-cyclist-safety.htm [Accessed 13 September 2012].

3) Ulrich, L (2012) How to Drive around Cyclists [online]. Available at: PDF Link [Accessed 14 September 2012].

Keeping safe on the road this bushfire season

October 10, 2012 at 8:30 am | Posted in GHS, GloriaSantillana | 2 Comments
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Summer is just around the corner which means getting more time in the sun with friends. However, the hot weather can also create road hazards such as a bushfire.

If your planning to take a road trip this summer or you just want to be prepared for any emergencies you may encounter whilst driving then you need to know what to do if your driving in a bushfire affected area.

First of all before you travel anywhere this summer make sure you listen to ABC Radio or your local radio station so that your aware of any fires that are burning near your destination. If you are driving in a high risk bushfire area and a Code Red is forecast then the best option is either to leave the night before or early the next day.

Having said that, don’t leave if there are already signs of a bushfire in the area your in. This is because the thick, dark smoke will make it hard for you to see while driving. There is also a danger of falling tress and power lines which could leave you trapped in the path of a fire.

Below are some tips that you need to follow if you see a bushfire in the distance while driving:

  • You need to pull over to the side of the road preferably behind a solid structure so that you block the radiant heat of the fire
  • Keep your car away from dense bush
  • Stay inside your car unless there’s a nearby building, this will keep you protected from the radiant heat
  • Make the car visible by turning on the hazard and headlights
  • Close windows and doors
  • Turn the air conditioning on to full and recirculate
  • Get down below the window level and shelter under a woolen blanket
  • Drink lots of water so that you don’t get dehydrated
  • Stay in the car until the fire front has passed and the temperature outside has dropped
  • Once outside the car, move into a safe area such as a strip of land that has already burnt
  • Stay covered in a woolen blanket, drink plenty of water and wait for assistance

(Tasmania Fire Service, 2012)

These tips will ensure that your protected from the radiant heat of the bushfire which is the biggest killer in a fire.

The best way to protect yourself from the radiant heat is by keeping your distance.

Have fun and keep safe this summer by being aware of the dangers that a bushfire can cause motorists on the road and the steps you need to take to avoid these dangers.

If you want more information about bushfire safety then check out this link from Tourism Victoria.

Speeding in New South Wales

October 2, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Posted in GHS | 1 Comment
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Source:

Roads and Maritime Services (2012) Speeding [online]. Available at: http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/roadsafety/speedandspeedcameras/index.html [Accessed 02 October 2012].

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