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Pedestrians and drivers urged to be cautious at night

Cumbria Road Safety Partnership is asking drivers and pedestrians to take extra care during the continuing dark nights following recent incidents where pedestrians have been knocked down.

There have been three fatal collisions involving pedestrians in the county since the start of December and another 18 collisions involving pedestrians which resulted in injury.

The road safety partnership works to reduce the number of fatal and serious injury road traffic collisions in the county.

Inspector Steve Minnikin said: “Our message is not about blaming drivers or blaming pedestrians. There is more everyone can do to help make sure everyone using our roads gets home safely.

“There are some very basic steps all of us can take – whether we’re behind the wheel or walking – to help improve safety, from driving to the road conditions to making yourself more visible.

“I would ask for the public’s help in spreading these simple tips and would particularly urge people to speak with elderly members of their family or neighbours who are likely to find themselves out walking during hours of darkness.”

Pedestrians:

  • Use dedicated pedestrian crossings at all times to cross the road.
  • Remind children to put all electronic devices away so they are not distracted and will be vigilant before crossing.
  • Try to walk on a footpath or pavement at all times. If there are none then keep in single file to the right-hand side of the road so that you can see oncoming traffic.
  • When walking in the dark, carry something that’s bright or fluorescent (arm band, jacket, footwear etc) to help other road users/drivers to see you.
  • Carry a small torch that you can easily clip on to your key chain or using your smartphone’s torch app.

Drivers:

  • Ensure you stick to the speed limits, especially in residential areas and be extra cautious for children who may suddenly appear from between parked vehicles.
  • Be extra vigilant when approaching junctions or zebra crossings. People may be in dark clothing making them harder to spot at night.
  • Don’t be distracted. Eliminate all distractions from inside your car so that you can concentrate better.
  • Take extra care when entering or exiting driveways
  • Ensure your headlights are working and not obscured by dust or dirt. Switch them on before dusk so you’re not inadvertently driving around unseen.
  • Ensure you have full visibility out of your windscreen after de-icing before setting off on your journey.

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