We can all make a difference to help the most vulnerable on our roads

Monday, November 19, 2018 - 10:19
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Road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging every road user to get involved in Road Safety Week (19-25 November).  A key task for this year’s initiative is to encourage drivers to be ‘Bike Smart’ in an effort to raise awareness of the risks faced by cyclists and motorcyclists.

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth commented: “Figures show that on average, a cyclist or motorcyclist is killed or seriously injured every hour of every day on a British road.

“The theme for Road Safety Week this year encourages drivers to be aware of the vulnerabilities of motorcyclists and cyclists, who make up almost 40 per cent of all deaths and serious injuries on Britain’s roads.

“This is a sentiment fully supported by GEM. We believe that by focusing on the needs of the most vulnerable road users, we can help ensure that everyone goes home safe every night.

“We therefore urge drivers to pledge their support for Road Safety Week, and make an effort to reduce risk and improve safety on their journeys. Please be constantly vigilant for two-wheeled road users, consider the needs of children on their bicycles, and ensure you give them time and space to complete their journeys safely.”

GEM has drawn up five simple but effective tips that can be adopted right now by any driver. The result will be safer road journeys for everyone:

  • Be particularly careful on rural roads, where lack of space can combine with high vehicle speeds to create a particularly high-risk environment for cyclists and motorcyclists.
  • Commit to constant vigilance. Banish distractions to give yourself the best chance of seeing a cyclist or motorcyclist early.
  • Pass cyclists wide and slow. The Highway Code requests that you ensure a clearance of at least 1.5m as you go past a cyclist.
  • Observe all speed limits. In particular, by complying with the speed limit in 20mph zones you will be playing your part to make communities safer.
  • Use the ‘Dutch reach’ when opening a car door from the inside. This simple but effective manoeuvre just means you use the hand further from the door handle to get the door open. In doing so this forces you to look over your shoulder and minimizes occurrences of opening a car door into the oath of a passing cyclist.

Road Safety Week is coordinated by the Brake road safety charity and supported by a wide cross-section of employers and individuals.

As a long-established and energetic road safety campaigning organisation, GEM Motoring Assist is pleased to play its part in raising awareness of road safety issues, not only among its members but across the wider community.


  1. I am shocked there is no inclusion of horses. My experience on the roads is not that the majority of drivers know how to pass a horse. Please look at the statistics for horses accidents on the road both ridden and driven.

    • Does anyone bother to read the replys to the other comments, or are we being spammed.

  2. As Editor, I am starting to feel that we are being targeted by the equestrian community. I will not reply to any more comments as it seems to be a total waste of time as no-one appears to be able to read the replies I’ve already put up.
    FleetPoint is a news stream NOT the originator of the campaign, and although I have sympathy with horse riders on the road, I think the point has been made.

  3. Please remember horse riders and drivers as amongst the most vulnerable road users. In the interest of road safety, yours and theirs, give them plenty of space and really reduce your speed (15mph) when passing – approaching or overtaking!
    Many thanks.

  4. I feel incredibly vunerable on modern day roads. I am a HORSE RIDER who also DRIVES A PONY. When are we going to be INCLUDED as vunerable road users. WE ADD SO MUCH TO THE UK ECONOMY, WE DESERVE IT, SURELY?

  5. Why are Equestrians not included? Horse riders and Carriage drivers are also very vulnerable road users!

  6. Equestrians, horse riders and drivers are a particularly vulnerable road user group. I understand that an annual focussed campaign is an effective strategy but when are the problems encountered by equestrians going to be particularly emphasised? The Brake website it is not getting the message across to the four wheeled brigade.

  7. Please do not forget the horse riders too they seem to get forgotten and are very vulnerable. So many seem to forget that a horse is a prey animal and that means they will run or shy in fear. Drivers cannot always see something in a field or the hedge taht a rider can and if asked to stop or slow drivers think that the rider is being petty but it is not petty when a horse goes through your window screen because of the barking dog in a driveway. Please SLOW DOWN FOR HORSES PASS WIDE AND SLOW

  8. Don’t forget us horse riders! Pass as wide and slow as possible! Could save your life as well as theirs!

  9. Please include horse riders, it’s not enough to encourage drivers to think ‘horse’ when they pass a cyclist, in my experience that would mean passing too fast, too close, revving your engine and speeding away whilst tooting your horn and giving hand signals not recognised in the Highway Code.

  10. Please please include horse riders and carriage drivers in this! We are vulnerable road users too

    • Hi Donna
      Please read my previous posts. We report the news, it is Brake that is responsible for the focus of each year’s Road Safety Week

  11. Why no mention of horse riders? Surely they are equally as vulnerable as pedestrians and cyclists. Speed limits on rural roads are ridiculous. In my area of Kent there are 50mph limits on main roads and then 60mph limits on single track roads. This, coupled with a lack of awareness of how to pass horse riders safely, is a recipe for disaster.

    • Hi
      Please see the responses I’ve given previously.

  12. No equestrians mentioned again? Why is this we are classed as a vulnerable road user, you cannot assume drivers will include us

    • Hi Debbie
      Thanks for leaving a comment. Please see the response I gave to Linda. Brake always have a focus for their Road Safety Week and this year it is safety for those on 2 wheels. I’m sure they haven’t forgotten equestrians in their campaigns.

  13. Why no mention of horse riders or carriage drivers?

    • Hi Linda

      Thanks for getting in touch. Each year, the Road Safety Week has a central theme and focus. This year it is on the vulnerability of those on 2 wheels – cyclists and motorcyclist who suffer a disproportionately higher casualty rate than other road users. Previous weeks have focused on Children, bad driving habits, pedestrians etc. I’m not sure whether they have done anything specifically on horses, but there maybe something on the Brake website.

  14. Why are horse riders not included in this. Are we not vulnerable road users?

    • Hi Diane,
      I read somewhere that when approaching a cyclist you should think ‘horse’ and allow them the same amount of room. I’m aware that there are drivers who don’t have the knowledge and ability to drive past a horse properly, but, I think, they are very much in the minority.

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