How drivers (like me) can keep pedestrians (also like me) safer on our streets

Walking is sustainable transport

We all know that one way to look after the planet, travel more sustainably and keep ourselves healthy is to ditch the car and walk as often as we can (other forms of active travel are available). In fact we’re already quite good at the walking game with walking for travel being the second most common physical activity in England.

And we don’t have to walk far to make a difference.

How to plan a walking route with OS Maps

In 2019 45% of our car journeys were were less than two miles distance. To walk that takes just over an hour without big hills, at a steady but not fast pace. An hour might sound like a lot but factor in traffic jams and parking hassle and you might find it’s not much longer than your drive time.

But walking isn’t always possible.

Sometimes driving is the only sensible option

But that doesn’t mean drivers (myself included) can’t do their bit to encourage other people to walk instead of drive. After all, we’re all trying to look after the same planet.

Drivers encouraging walkers sounds backwards doesn’t it.

But it’s simple really. Imagine taking our children to school, or our elderly mums for a walk. We’re all far more likely to do it if the traffic around us is being considerate.

But what is considerate driving?

And how, in a busy bustling world, can we achieve it?

There are lots of things I could say about drivers keeping pedestrians safe (as well as pedestrians keeping themselves safe) but remembering lots of things can be tricky. Especially when we’re late for work. Or the kids are chatting in the back of the car. Or we’re already behind on today’s delivery schedule.

A simple rhyme might help

See me

Be me

Free me

See me

  • Acknowledge pedestrians as part of our traffic system
  • Actively look for them
  • Anticipate their needs
  • Recognise when they might be at risk

Be me

  • Get out of our cars
  • Walk our most common driving routes
  • Notice what it feels like when cars pass at speed
  • Feel the stress when a van brakes late at a crossing
  • Experience the hassle of a car-blocked pavement

Free me

  • Work together to make our traffic routes safe for everyone
  • Free each other up to walk when and where we want to
  • Enter a time of new understanding on our roads

Safer routes for a safer world

‘We’re all in this together’ sang the students from High School Musical. And they were right. We’re never going to solve the problems of climate change and health deterioration on our own.

But working together we just might.

Adventures by Train

Want to encourage children to go walking? How about child-friendly map reading?

How to plan a walking route with OS Maps new version 2022



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