Transport Minister Keith Brown was joined today (29th July) by representatives from Cycling Scotland and the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) to officially launch a ground-breaking new campaign aimed at all road users.
Starting on August 5, the Nice Way Code campaign will target pedestrians, cyclists and motorists and ask them to respect one another while out on the road. It asks people to make small changes to their behaviour on the roads, in order to make them a safer and more pleasant place for everyone. The campaign asks drivers to give cyclists more space and overtake them with care, and to look carefully for pedestrians crossing, while cyclists are asked to obey red lights and not cycle on the pavement. Pedestrians are included too, with messages about not trying to cross the road while looking at your phone.
The campaign uses TV ads, accompanied by a poster campaign which uses a humourous take on everyday road signs to deliver the serious messages in an upbeat way which encourages road users to be more respectful of each other, with the key message of ‘Let’s All Get Along. Follow the Nice Way Code.’
Funded by Transport Scotland and initiated by Cycling Scotland, the Nice Way Code campaign has the backing of major organisations that represent road users, such as the IAM, Sustrans, Paths for All and the AA.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “The Nice Way Code campaign seeks to build a culture of tolerance and patience between cyclists, motorists, pedestrians and all other road users across Scotland. While the numbers of road casualties in Scotland are at their lowest ever level there is still simply no room for complacency. One death on Scotland’s roads is one too many and our focus is on working with key safety partners to reduce the numbers further. I believe this campaign will play its part in making Scotland’s roads safer for all users in the future and raise awareness that road safety really is everyone’s responsibility. I am also pleased to announce an additional £200,000 worth of funding for implementing the learning from the pilot partnership programme ‘Smarter Choices, Smarter Places’ which will be allocated to local authorities to introduce local mapping, branding and signage to increase local active travel journeys.”
Ian Aitken, chief executive of Cycling Scotland, said: “Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and it is important we move away from the ‘us and them’ mentality of some drivers, cyclists and pedestrians when in fact almost everybody falls into at least two of those categories. Road safety is most effectively achieved through a combination of the three E’s – engineering, education and enforcement, so we see this as being a key step towards educating people about the need for consideration of other road users. In conjunction with measures such as Police Scotland’s recent enforcement campaign to support vulnerable road users and a continued programme of infrastructure investment, this campaign will help everyone know how to respect each other in our shared road space.”
Neil Greig, director of policy and research at the IAM, said: “The IAM supports the Nice Way Code campaign because we believe that sharing the road safely is the key to encouraging more cyclists on our roads. IAM research suggests that half of drivers already own a bike but only 19% of them actually use it regularly mainly due to safety concerns. If everyone on the roads can work together to reduce stress, give each other more room and stick to the rules then many more people will be encouraged to dig out their bikes and get back in the saddle.”
Edmund King, AA president, said: “We have been campaigning for years to break down the tribalism which exists on our roads between some drivers and some cyclists. Road users being individuals are all different, so sometimes they don’t conform, make mistakes or fail to show respect for others. When we’re on the roads we should be more at one with each other, sharing the space thoughtfully not provocatively. The Nice Way Code is a brilliant way to encourage all road users to get along in harmony, making our journeys calmer and safer.”
Ian Findlay, chief officer of Scottish charity Paths for All said: “We believe it’s important for all users of roads, paths and pavements to respect each other. It makes good sense, nobody wants to be responsible for an accident or be hurt themselves. Our goal is for more people to be active through walking and cycling in their everyday lives and we’ll only succeed if it’s safe and welcoming for all of us to do so. If drivers, cyclists and walkers unite in respect and consideration for one another, getting from A to B will be safer and more enjoyable for everyone.”
Superintendent Iain Murray, head of road policing for Police Scotland, said: “Mutual respect among road users can have a positive effect on road safety and I would encourage it at all times. Police Scotland recently held an initiative aimed at improving the safety of vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians and received positive feedback for our efforts in education and enforcement. We have seen in recent weeks the tragic consequences of cyclists and pedestrians being involved in road traffic crashes and incidents and there is a responsibility on all road users to be prepared, act responsibly and be aware of others around them at all times. Police Scotland is committed to keeping people safe on Scotland’s roads and will continue to support campaigns and initiatives which help meet that commitment.”
The Nice Way Code campaign is supported by; The AA, The Bike Station, CTC (UK), Cycling Scotland, Institute of Advanced Motorists, Lothian Buses, Motorcycle Action Group, Paths for All, Police Scotland, Ramblers Scotland, Road Haulage Association, Safer Scotland, Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS), Scottish Cycling, Scottish Taxi Federation, Sustrans Scotland, Transport Scotland
Find out more about the Nice Way Code.