Dan and Bex are on a road trip. An accident ahead has slowed things down and has got them thinking about why it’s important for roads to be safe and how this can be achieved.
Vehicles travelling too fast can cause collisions – resulting in damage to other vehicles and the road… and more crucially, causing injury or even death to the people involved.
Solihull won an award for tackling unsafe traffic outside primary schools.
They introduced traffic-free zones during busy times, as well as car free areas and a 20mph speed limit.
There are other ways to slow things down – speed humps and chicanes with narrow passing places, can remind people to lower their speed. They might travel quickly over the first hump…
It’s important that the signs around the road that tell drivers what to do are super clear and easy to understand, as misunderstandings can cause accidents too.
Generally, it’s safer for cyclists to use the roads and not the pavements. Risk of collision can be reduced by making sure there are clearly marked and well-lit cycle paths, as well as marked areas at road junctions for them.
That means well maintained pavements with good lighting and not too many obstructions. Or where there isn’t enough space for a pavement, that a section of the road is clearly marked for pedestrians.
Innovation also helps make our roads super safe too. We can stop cars from swerving over pavements and into buildings by designing a steep slope on the verge which a car simply can’t get over, or using super strong bollards which can be made in any colour you like – they can even be made to look like flower planters. And did you know there’s a new type of paving material that contains solar panels to help power street lighting?
The safer a road is, the more choices people have about how they use it. If you know there’s a wide well-marked cycle lane or zones for walking in and plenty of pedestrian crossings, you may feel more confident in taking the bike or walking to your destination. Around Solihull, they are seeing more people than ever walking and cycling thanks to the changes to the road design.