As people across Europe adapt to the “new normal”, many are embracing different modes of transport to maintain safe social distancing on their journeys. With capacity still limited on some public transport networks, cities have been reclaiming and repurposing roads to make them more accessible to pedestrians, bicycles and e-scooters.
However, new data from the European Commission reveals that vulnerable road users – pedestrians, cyclists and those using powered two‑wheelers such as e-scooters – accounted for 70 per cent of road accident fatalities in urban areas last year; 1 in 8 of those fatalities was a cyclist, up from 1 in 12 in 2017.
Now, Ford is expanding its ‘Share The Road’ safety campaign to incorporate the growing variety of transport people are using. First launched two years ago, Share The Road aims to foster greater understanding between road users to help make the streets safer for everyone.
Newly published advice from the scheme includes:
- Guide to Cleaning your Ride which offers timely guidance from Ford’s chief medical officer on how to ensure any transportation you take – even shared bicycles or scooters – is as germ-free as it can be.
- Seven-Step Guide to Getting Back on the Road video offering reassurance for those venturing back to work for the first time in a while, covering basics around how to safely social distance when on the road and essentials to pack before setting out.
- Share The Road, Safely brings together all of the programme’s experience of building respect and understanding between road users. The booklet primes anybody who is about to take to the street with advice on how to share the road, safely.
Earlier this year, the ‘Share The Road’ team developed a prototype Emoji Jacket to show how smart design – and cute graphics – could significantly improve communication and reduce tensions between cyclists and drivers. Award-winning virtual reality experience WheelSwap encourages empathy between drivers and cyclists by highlighting the potentially fatal consequences of inconsiderate riding or driving.
Ford-owned Spin has now launched its first European scooter sharing service in Germany. The e‑scooters offer an affordable, reliable and enjoyable way to travel short distances in cities while helping to reduce pollution and support safe social distancing.
Share The Road’s Seven-Step Guide to Getting Back on the Road
Step 1: Are you fit for work?
Are you, or is anybody in your household, experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms? Have you been in contact with anybody else who has? If in any doubt, seek advice before leaving home and follow all local guidance.
Step 2: Plan your journey
Some roads may be closed or changed, and public transport may be running to a different timetable. Consider quieter routes that could reduce your contact with others. Follow local guidance on permitted journeys and transportation.
Step 3: Travel smart
Before you leave, pack some essentials such as hand sanitiser, tissues and a face covering. Follow local guidance on wearing a face covering in public places.
Step 4: Keep it clean
Regularly wash hands with soap and hot water or hand rub with a minimum of 70 per cent alcohol. Clean shared surfaces such as petrol pumps or handlebars before you touch them and sanitise your hands afterwards.
Step 5: Maintain safe distances
Keep a safe distance between yourself and other road users. Safe distances may be different if you are cycling, running or walking and may vary from country to country. Always follow local guidance.
Step 6: Share the road
Be mindful of others who may be using new or unfamiliar ways to get to work. Signal early and clearly – whether on two wheels or four. Take a break from texting: never use your phone while driving, stay alert to what’s around you.
Step 7: You’ve arrived
When you arrive at your destination, wash your hands and follow any protocols in your workplace.
Remember, by protecting yourself you help to protect others. If in any doubt about your journey or health, stay home and follow all local guidance. Let’s work together to keep everybody out of harm’s way – whatever the journey
“As people throughout Europe tentatively re-emerge from lockdown, many of us are trying out new forms of transportation or routes to work for the first time. By expanding our awareness campaign to include emerging types of transport, such as e‑scooters, we hope to help many more people ‘Share The Road’ safely – whichever way they choose to travel.”
Emmanuel Lubrani, ‘Share The Road’, Ford of Europe .