Text version for 'Crash scene investigation'

In this activity, children are asked to look at the scene after a collision on a road and to work out what happened. They learn that a car passenger opened a car door into the road and a cyclist drove into it. The passenger should have got out of the car on the pavement side, used the nearby zebra crossing, and should not have been distracted by talking on a mobile phone. They cyclist should have left more room between her and the parked car and she should have been aware that people do get out of cars on the road side sometimes.

The messages form the cycling section of the Tales of the Road highway code for young road users are reinforced.

Your bike – check it out

Make sure your cycle is safe to ride – your brakes and tyres should be working well. Make sure your front and back lights work well, and your back reflector is clean.

When you have to carry anything on your cycle, use a bike bag or basket. Make sure that you don’t wear any loose clothing so that nothing can get caught in the chain or wheels.

Before you set off

Always wear a cycle helmet that is the correct size and securely fastened – it will help to protect your head if you fall off.

Help other road users to see you. Wear light coloured or fluorescent clothing in daylight and at dusk, and something reflective at night.

Do not ride a bike that is too big or small as it can affect your balance.

Cycling in the dark

Wear reflective clothing and/or accessories (belt, arm or anklebands) or a backpack in the dark.

You must not cycle at night without a white front light, a red back light and a red reflector at the back, so make sure they are clean and working.

Remember that if you have a dynamo on your bike your lights can go out when you stop.

On your bike

Before starting off, turning right or left, overtaking, or stopping, you must look behind and make sure it is safe and then give a clear arm signal to show what you intend to do (see page 29).

You must not ride on the pavement unless there are special signs allowing you to do so. When you get on your bike look all round for traffic. When it is safe to move off, cycle away.

Always keep both hands on the handle bars unless you are signalling or changing gears.
Be particularly careful near large vehicles like lorries and buses. The drivers may not be able to see you. Do not ride in the space between the vehicle and the kerb, because they may be going to turn left. When turning from one road to another, pedestrians who are crossing that road have the priority, so give way.

When you are next out in a car, look at the cyclists. Are there times when you can’t see them? Which ones are easier to see and why?

Remember – use your eyes and ears all the time.

If you want to turn right from a busy road, it is safer to stop on the left hand side before or after the junction and wait for a safe gap in the traffic before walking with your cycle across the road.

Only overtake when you are certain it is safe to do so. If you are overtaking parked vehicles, watch out for them starting off while you are doing so, and look out for car doors opening or pedestrians crossing near them. You should also look for traffic coming towards you.

You should not use a personal stereo or a mobile phone whilst cycling.
Parking your cycle

Always park your cycle thoughtfully so that it is not in the way of other people.
It is best to use a cycle stand if there is one.

Lock it to prevent it being stolen and have the frame marked with your postcode.

Cycle routes and crossings

Where available, always use routes away from busy roads.
In some areas special cycle routes, tracks and lanes are provided.

Pedestrian crossings

You must stop for pedestrians at zebra crossings.

You must stop for the red light at the traffic lights, including those at crossings.

Cycling near animals

Be careful when cycling near horses and other animals.Give them plenty of room as you go by.

Don’t scare them by sounding your bell or horn; they could injure someone.

Bus lanes

Only cycle in bus lanes if there is a cycle shown on the sign.

Tram tracks

Cyclists should take extra care when driving close to tram tracks, especially if the rails are wet. It is safest to cross the tracks directly at a right angle.

At roundabouts

At roundabouts get off your cycle and walk if you feel unsafe. When entering a roundabout you must give way to traffic coming from your right. Look out for vehicles which may turn in front of you.

Look after your bike and make sure it is safe.

Make sure that you are dressed in the right clothes:

Make sure that you can always see and hear well.

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