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Drive Carefully Around Vulnerable Road Users Road Safety Initiative

No. 255/2021

Our Ref: V4/21

To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

Royal Mail Group – Drive Carefully Around Vulnerable Road Users Road Safety Initiative (Cyclists, Horse Riders & Pedestrians)

The Royal Mail Group Safety Health and Environment Team’s National Road Safety Manager has today launched a summer driving, ‘drive carefully around vulnerable road users communication initiative which the CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department is supporting.

During periods of summer good weather, drivers can expect to see more vulnerable road users using the roads. There will be more cyclists, and on rural roads you are also more likely to encounter horse riders and pedestrians in the road.

Drivers must remember that these road users have just as much right to use the roads as motorists, but that they are far more vulnerable to injury in the event of a collision.

By following these simple rules, drivers can help to keep them safe and avoid collisions:

  1. Anticipate – expect to see vulnerable roads users on or around the roads. This is particularly important on rural roads where they might be just around a blind bend. Beware when pulling out of junctions, as cyclists are often moving much faster than you might expect.

  2. Be patient – don’t overtake until you can pass safely, and don’t overtake for the sake of it. If you are about to turn off yourself then it’s usually best to stay behind. Remember that cyclists and horse riders are permitted to ride in pairs and that it is often safer for everybody if they do.

  3. Give space – When passing you should provide as much space as possible, and an absolute minimum of 1.5m. Cyclists in particular may wobble or change line to avoid a drain or pothole, and drivers need to account for this when passing. If there is traffic coming the other way, then you may not be able to pass.

  4. Pass slow – when you aren’t surrounded by a metal box it is scary to have vehicles passing you at speed and horses can also react badly to fast moving traffic. Pass cyclists at a sensible speed and keep your speed below 15mph when passing horses.

  5. Use the ‘Dutch-Reach’ method – when getting out of the vehicle, use your LEFT hand to open the door. This will stop the door opening fully and also means you are looking behind you so you can check for approaching traffic, including cyclists.

Key Action and Messages to Drivers:

  • Keep a look out for vulnerable road users, be patient, pass wide and slow and use the ‘Dutch-reach’ method!

See attached:

  • “SHE Huddle FY21 019 Vulnerable Road Users message.

  • “RMTV Screen Message”. When Overtaking Cyclists:

    • Be Patient – wait until it is safe to pass

    • Pass Wide – a minimum of 1.5m

    • Pass Slow – remember cyclists have no protection

Management only enquiries to Mark Bromhall Royal Mail Group Road Safety Manager Mobile: 07872 815241 Email:

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

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