Student Guide to Road Safety

Whether you’re just starting out on your FE journey, part way through or entering your final year, the chances are that a large part of your student life will be spent socialising, possibly involving a drink (or two!). But drink (and drugs) can affect how we behave – they reduce our inhibitions and may affect our judgement of what is going on around us. Going out drinking with friends can be great fun, but you may find yourself doing things you wouldn’t usually do. You might end up visiting new places, and could realise at the end of the night that you’ve not got the money you need to get home. Having a fun, active social life is all part of student life and we want you to fully immerse yourself in that. So we’ve put together these few reminders to help keep yourself safer when travelling around, wherever you are studying.

When walking:

• Stay with your friends as much as possible, especially walking home after a night out. Look out for your mates and hopefully they will look out for you! Make an agreement to ensure that everyone gets home safely

• It’s best to keep to well-lit streets rather than going through isolated areas, even if it’s a short cut and you think it will mean you’re home more quickly

• Take care when crossing roads, especially if you’ve been drinking. Remember, your judgement may be impaired and you may not be able to gauge the speed of traffic accurately

• Use crossings wherever you can and if they are not available, make sure you cross the road where you can see any traffic and it can see you

• Leeds is a vibrant, busy city, and possibly busier than home. Always be aware of what is going on around you and look carefully for vehicles before crossing the road

• International students – remember that traffic might be on the opposite side of the road to what you’re used to. Double check in both directions before stepping into the road

• Phones and music make our lives easier and more enjoyable. But make sure they aren’t a distraction when crossing roads, and also be aware of other people around you when immersed in these devices!

By bike:

• It sounds obvious, but if you’re cycling when it’s dark, make sure you’re visible. You must have a working front and rear bike light, and it is recommended that you wear something reflective if it is dark

• Look into training options. A quick online search will find local providers

• If you’re new to the area, plan your route in advance. Use the online West Yorkshire Cycle map to find recommended routes and cycling infrastructure

• Remember to share the road with other road users and show consideration! The Highway Code gives more advice for cyclists

In the car:

• If you are driving, particularly around busy areas or places with people out drinking, pay attention and look out for pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users

• Never drive or ride under the influence of drink or drugs or get into a car being driven by someone under the influence. If in doubt, get out!

• If you’re driving, make sure you’ve got enough fuel to get home

• Make sure you and your passengers wear seatbelts. If you don’t and the car comes to a sudden stop, you could be flung around with the force of a baby elephant

• Don’t be encouraged to do things your mates tell you to if you’re not comfortable with it. If they don’t like your driving style they can get out!

• Driving is a complex task – don’t complicate it further by trying to change music or use your phone. Mobile device use is illegal, and if caught you could face a £200 fine and 6 points on your licence. For new drivers (passing your test in the last 2 years), that would mean losing your licence and having to pass (and pay for!) both parts of your test again

• Park up in a well-lit or supervised area, especially if you’ll be going back to your car after dark

Bus / train / taxi:

• Only use pre-booked minicabs or licensed ‘black cabs’. Download an app for a cab firm which links to a credit / debit card in case you run out of money

• Don’t be tempted to take lifts from someone you’re not sure is licensed to take you – no matter how desperate you are to get home. If it’s not a licensed cab, it won’t be monitored or have insurance to take you, putting you and other passengers at risk

• If travelling by bus alone late at night, sit downstairs and as close to the driver as you can

• Avoid waiting at quiet or lonely bus stops

•For public transport information, visit West Yorkshire Metro’s website

Links to University & College Travel Guides

If you’re studying at one of these Leeds institutions, follow the links below to find out more about how to get there, travel facilities and more:

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