Health, Safety & Environment Consultants

Vulnerable Road Users


As many of us take time away from work this holiday season, it’s a timely reminder that health and safety does not stop the moment you leave your place of work. With cool crisp days, many of us take the time to enjoy the change in season and enjoy spending time outdoors, walking, cycling, horse riding and riding motorbikes.

Jenny is an avid horse rider and is well aware of how vulnerable road users, can often be almost invisible to drivers due to poor lighting and dark clothing. As you can see from this picture of Paula Smith in herEquisafety hi-vis gear, without wearing hi-vis it is much harder to notice the rider on the road. Of course, this doesn’t just extend to horse riders. This also applies to other vulnerable road users such as cyclists, walkers and motorcyclists. By giving drivers the best possible chance of seeing you, you are giving yourself the best possible chance of a safe and enjoyable time, enjoying the fresh air and wide open spaces.

It’s important to note, that it’s not just in poor light that riders, cyclists, motorcyclists and walkers can be hard to spot, blending into the surrounding environment. Often in bright light, these road users can be equally hard to spot. So always wear hi-vis when using the road.

So what can drivers do to assist vulnerable road users? Pass wide and slow, such as not to startle persons, horses or dogs that may be present with their owners. Avoid sounding your horn, or revving your engine, as this can also startle.  As vulnerable road users, we should try and pull in off the road to allow cars to pass where safe to do so, and also take the time to thank and acknowledge vehicles who wait, slow down and give us space. By showing this courtesy to drivers, they are more likely to be respectful of other vulnerable road users in future.

We all want to enjoy this festive season, and by being considerate of vulnerable road users and drivers, and ensuring we can be seen on the roads, we can all have an enjoyable and safe festive season.

For more information on dealing with horses on the roads, please visit thePass Wide and Slow campaign Facebook page and the Horse and Road Safety Awareness website. For more general road safety advice, visit ROSPA.

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