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City of London unveils "road etiquette principles"

Corporation's plan to help reduce road deaths and injuries comes as Road Safety Week gets under way...

A set of four new “road etiquette principles” have been drawn up by the City of London Corporation to try and reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI) on the streets of the Square Mile.

According to the City of London Corporation, from 2012-14 there were 261 KSI collisions, 11 of them fatal, on the streets within its boundaries.

In almost two thirds of those cases, failure to look properly or careless, reckless or hurried behaviour were contributing factors.

The four “road etiquette principles people are being asked to follow are:

Look around – keep your eyes open and focus on what’s around you.

Be aware – the City of London’s a busy place, so always expect the unexpected.

Be considerate – remember other road users are people too.

Less haste – take an extra second to think about what you’re doing and any potential hazards.

Victoria Lebrec, who lost a leg following a crash involving a skip lorry in Clerkenwell in 2015, gave her support to the initiative, saying: “It is easy to think 'that would never happen to me’, but all it takes is for someone to make one mistake – be they a cyclist, a pedestrian or a driver – and a life can be taken. 

“I certainly think the roads would be safer if everyone followed the new road etiquette principles.

“The City of London is home to some of the busiest roads in the country and with that comes a responsibility for all of us to travel considerately and safely.”

Alison Gowman, who represents the City of London Corporation on the London Road Safety Council and is chair of the Active City Network, commented: "The City of London is home to over 480,000 workers and 9,000 residents, one of London’s busiest areas, yet the numbers of those killed or seriously injured in the Square Mile are among the lowest in the capital.

“This is in part due to a dedicated Road Danger Reduction team, a City-wide 20-mile an hour speed limit, free online resources, workshops and Dr Bike clinics, as well as safety schemes such as at Bank junction and the Aldgate Gyratory for our road users.

“But we can always do more,” she continued.

“The City Corporation continues to tirelessly campaign for even safer streets because the effect of a collision reverberates around a community.

“Road safety is everybody’s responsibility. These four principles are easy for all road users to keep in mind, and so we appeal to the public to look around, be aware, be considerate and act with less haste.”

The launch of the initiative coincides with the start of National Road Safety Week today, which will also see City of London Police target speeding drivers and hold a close pass operation in partnership with colleagues from the Metropolitan Police.

The latter operation will take place in the Old Street and Shoreditch area, which officers say is a particularly high-risk location for serious injuries to cyclists and pedestrians.

Sergeant Guy Eaton of City of London Police said: *“The City of London is a unique area. The roads are extremely busy with all types of vehicle along with a large number of pedestrians.

“During Road Safety Week we will be taking robust action against speeding drivers by means of prosecution. They will also be reminded of the risks associated with speeding – both to themselves and to other road users.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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