Vulnerable Road Users

  1. General advice
  2. Road use and Navigation
  3. Parking and Waiting
  4. Vulnerable Road Users
  5. Drivers and Motorcyclists
  6. Rules for Motorcyclists
  7. Pedestrians
  8. Defensive driving tips
  9. Road Test Tips
  10. Road Signs
  11. Highway Code Test
handicap parking spot
Handicap disable parking spot

Pedestrians

On the road, users at the highest risk are pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders. It is also important to be aware of children, older and disabled people, and learner and inexperienced drivers.

Always drive carefully and slowly when :

  • in crowded shopping streets or residential areas.
  • driving past bus stops.
  • passing parked vehicles.
  • reversing into a side road; look all around the vehicle and give way to any pedestrians who may be crossing the road.
  • turning at road junctions; give way to pedestrians who are already crossing the road into which you are turning.
  • approaching pedestrians on narrow rural roads without a footway or footpath. Always slow down and be prepared to stop if necessary, giving them plenty of room as you drive past.

Particularly vulnerable pedestrians include :

  • children and older pedestrians who may not be able to judge your speed and could step into the road in front of you. At about 60 km/h your vehicle will probably kill any pedestrians it hits. At 30 km/h there is only a 1 in 20 chance of the pedestrian being killed.
  • older pedestrians who may need more time to cross the road. Be patient and allow them to cross in their own time. Do not hurry them by revving your engine or edging forward.
  • people with disabilities. People with hearing impairments may not be aware of your vehicle approaching. Those with walking difficulties require more time.
  • blind or partially sighted people, who may be carrying a white cane using a guide dog. They may not be able to see you approaching.
  • deaf and blind people who may be carrying a white cane with a red band or using a dog with a red and white harness. They may not see or hear instructions or signals.

Motorcyclists and cyclists

Motorcyclists and cyclists are not readily noticed especially when they are coming up from behind, coming out of junctions, at roundabouts, overtaking you or filtering through traffic. Most drivers do not recognize them as road users.
Always look out for them before you emerge from a junction; they could be approaching faster than you think.
When turning right across a line of slow-moving or stationary traffic, look out for cyclists or motorcyclists on the inside of the traffic you are crossing. Be especially careful when turning, and when changing direction or lane. Be sure to check mirrors and blind spots carefully.

Motorcyclists and cyclists have high manouverbility and may have the need to do so to avoid obstacles on the road. When driving on lanes close to the cycling lane pay extra attention and be mindful of these sudden changes to their course.

Learners, Animals & Older drivers

An elephant on the road, road users should be aware of animals on the road

Horse riders and animal-drawn carts.

Be careful of horse riders and animal-drawn vehicles especially when overtaking. Always pass wide and slowly. Horse riders are often children, so take extra care and remember riders may ride in double file when escorting a young or inexperienced horse or rider. Look out for their signals and heed a request to slow down or stop. Take great care and treat all animals as a potential hazard.

Learner drivers.

Learner and inexperienced drivers may not be so skillful at anticipating and responding to events. Be particularly patient with learner and young drivers.

Animals.

Zimbabwean roads have a heavy presence of animals and livestock.
When passing animals, drive slowly. Give them plenty of room and be ready to stop. Do not scare animals by sounding your horn, revving your engine or accelerating rapidly once you have passed them. Look out for animals being led, driven or ridden on the road and take extra care. Keep your speed down at bends and on narrow rural roads. If a road is blocked by a herd of animals, stop and switch off your engine until they have left the road. Also keep an eye out for animals on unfenced roads.

Older drivers.

Older drivers react slower than other drivers, be mindful of them and make allowance for this.

Other vehicles

Emergency and Incident Support vehicles and motorcades.

Emergency and Incident Support vehicles and motorcades.

You should always look and listen for ambulances, fire engines, police or other emergency vehicles using flashing blue, red or green lights and sirens or flashing headlights.
When one approaches do not panic. Consider the route of such a vehicle and take appropriate action to let it pass, while complying with all traffic signs. If necessary, pull to the side of the road and stop, but try to avoid stopping before the brow of a hill, a bend or narrow section of road. Do not endanger yourself, other road users or pedestrians and avoid mounting the kerb. Do not brake harshly on approach to a junction or roundabout, as a following vehicle may not have the same view as you.

A presidential or V.I.P. motorcade is usually always accompanied by leading motocyclists that serve as a warning. When one approaches, pull over to the side of the road until the motorcade has passed then proceed when it is safe to do so.
These motorcades move at high speeds so always act quickly to avoid having to make split second manouvers.

Large vehicles.

These may need extra road space to turn or to deal with a hazard that you are not able to see. If you are following a large vehicle, such as a bus or articulated lorry, be aware that the driver may not be able to see you in the mirrors (if you cannot see his mirrors then he cannot see you). Be prepared to stop and wait if it needs room or time to turn.

Vehicles with flashing amber beacons.

These warn of a slow-moving or stationary vehicle or abnormal loads, so approach with caution.