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Road Safety Tips at All Times

By daydreamered Apr 16, 2013 756 Words
Road Safety Tips for All Times
The number of young lives cut short on our killer roads continue to surge at a staggering rate. According to the statistics compiled by the Royal Malaysian Police, the highest rate of road casualties and mishaps involve the young age group, among those aged between 16 and 25. The high fatality rate indicates that the awareness and tenets of road safety are still lacking among the young road users. The article intends to enlighten our school students with some road safety tips for pedestrians and bicyclists considering that walking and cycling are our major modes of transport to school. Young pedestrians and bicyclists are especially vulnerable on the roads. As pedestrians, we have the responsibility to use the pedestrian crossings such as zebra crossings as well as other facilities installed such as overhead bridges to cross the roads. Zebra crossings and overhead bridges are normally found at intersections, or other points on busy roads that would otherwise be too unsafe to cross without assistance due to vehicle numbers, speed or road widths. Some zebra crossings are combined with other safety features such as traffic lights, with pedestrian pushbuttons. A press on the button will trigger a change in the traffic lights colour from green to red and it is thus safe for the pedestrians to cross. With all these safety features available, pedestrians will still need to be constantly on the lookout. Watch out for inattentive drivers and look to our left and right to make sure that all vehicles have slowed down and come to a standstill before walking across the pedestrian crossings. Furthermore, if circumstance requires that we walk on the roads in the dark, try to stay visible. It is helpful to walk against the traffic flow so that we can be easily noticed by the drivers who are coming from the opposite direction as they are facing us. To enhance the visibility of the drivers, pedestrians are also often encouraged to dress in colourful or light-colour attires. This approach could reduce the occurrence of pedestrian-related accidents caused by bad visibility at night. As bicyclists, there are also certain safety rules that we must adhere to. First of all, it is of preponderant importance that we obey all road signs and traffic lights. Do not run stop signs or traffic lights as these are contributory factors to road mishaps involving bicyclists. Furthermore, it is the safest to ride with the traffic flow to prevent head-on collision with the oncoming traffic and try to keep to the side of the road. If we are riding in a group, ride single file instead of two abreast. Riding single file is a gesture of consideration as it does not obstruct the flow of traffic. Riding single file enables the motor vehicles to overtake us safely as there is sufficient space to execute the overtaking without side-swiping us in our path. While riding single file, also be sure to communicate with the riders in front of and behind us by using appropriate hand signals whenever we are changing lanes or making a turn, which can occur with some verbal warnings simultaneously such as “stopping”, “turning” or “car approaching”. These help other riders to anticipate our impending actions and adapt to the situations accordingly. Besides that, there are other safety measures that bicyclists need to follow, such as donning the protective gear. Be sure to wear a helmet at all times when we are riding a bicycle and that it is properly fastened and fitted. At night, it is important to turn on the lights which are installed in the front, side and rear of the bicycle to make us visible from all directions. Always bear in mind that safety is all about choices. How many times have you come across newspaper articles or witnessed for yourselves road mishaps caused by human’s recklessness, or nonchalant and indifferent attitudes, which could have been prevented in the first place? Look within yourselves and reflect on your personal experiences: have you ever discarded the plan to use an overhead bridge just because you were in a rush? Generally, Malaysian young road users still lack of basic road courtesy and etiquette. We could make a difference by choosing to abide by the road safety rules shared in the article. Changing our attitude and mindset could give birth to a young generation of responsible road users, which could go a long way in arresting the escalating rate of road accidents and deaths.

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