Young drivers vulnerable road users campaign:
It’s everyone’s responsibility

We all have a shared responsibility for safe road use – drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders.

Advice for towns and built-up areas

It’s really important to consider other road users when you’re travelling in built-up areas.

Here are five ways we can all keep safe on the roads in town:

  1. Stop speeding before speeding stops you
    You are seven times as likely to kill a pedestrian if you hit them at 30mph rather than 20mph.1
  2. Pay extra attention at junctions
    Research shows almost half (49%) of pedestrian casualties happen at junctions and less than half of drivers (47%) look out for pedestrians at junctions. Therefore, it’s important to take your time and an extra look before crossing or turning at a junction.2
  3. Read the road
    Is the road busy? What’s the weather like? Figures show 95% of accidents involving pedestrians happen in built-up areas, with most casualties occurring during the evening commute or after lunch at weekends. It’s definitely worth checking in with what’s going on around you and adjusting your speed and route appropriately.3
  4. Try not to rush
    More than half admit to taking risks – jumping amber lights or travelling over the speed limit – just to get somewhere seconds earlier. Collisions can happen when people are in a rush, so always leave enough time for your journey. When it’s busy, the best approach is to take a breath, and keep your speed in check.4
  5. Watch out for unexpected hazards
    One in twenty admit to travelling on ‘autopilot’ every day and not paying full attention, so keep your eyes peeled. Unexpected hazards, such as roadworks or a speeding vehicle may be just around the corner.4


  1. DfT Road Safety Web Publication No.16: Relationship between Speed and Risk of Fatal Injury: Pedestrians and Car Occupants
  2. Think! 2013
  3. Transport Scotland – Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2019
  4. Censuswide survey of 1,012 Scottish adults (02.02.2018 – 06.02.2018)

Considering your road position

Slow down and adjust your road position so that you’re not too close to the kerb. You’ll give yourself more time to react to any unexpected hazards such as a pedestrian stepping out, or a cyclist swerving to avoid a drain.

Being mindful of your road position is especially important in busy streets and when there are children and pets about.

It’s also important to make sure you are up to date on the Highway Code and its recent changes.

A new hierarchy of road users has been introduced, where those who can cause the most harm have the most responsibility.


The consequences

Speed is a major factor in accidents and also impacts on their severity.

Going too fast in town can have severe penalties for drivers:

  • A fine of at least £100.
  • A minimum of 3 penalty points – you could even lose your licence if you build up 12 or more points.
  • Not to mention the risk to you, your passengers, and other road users.

Plus, if you’re a new driver:

  • You only need 6 points to lose your licence in the first 2 years of driving – this means going through the whole process of applying for your provisional and sitting your test all over again.
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