South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
03 Dec 2020
The Christmas adverts are showing on TV, the shops are full of decorations and festive food. Christmas will be anything but “normal” this year but we’re hoping that Santa will still be able to visit (just leave the presents on the doorstep and ring the bell).

Thoughts are turning to what to buy family and friends for Christmas. It’s tempting to go for bubble bath for the ladies, novelty socks for the men and a selection box for the kids, but how do I show a bit more imagination in my choice of gifts?

My brother is buying little Hannah her first bike, so a helmet would be a great idea to protect that precious head of hers if she takes a tumble. Her older brother Jake wants an e-scooter like his friend’s but as they can’t legally be used out on the street it’s difficult to see where he is going to be able to ride it. But if he does get one, that’s another present dilemma solved as he can have a helmet too.

Like most young people, my niece Emma wants the latest mobile phone. So a new case with a cute cat on the front will be the perfect accompaniment. And I’ll remind her not to get distracted looking at her phone as she walks to college, so she can keep an eye out for the traffic.

Our friend Richard is car mad, so I’m thinking maybe a driving video game so he can satisfy his “need for speed” and try out all those stunts on the screen where, if things go wrong, he gets to press the reset button and start again.

My brother-in-law, Jeff, is a runner so a reflective hat, snood and gloves will be just the thing to keep him warm when he is out on cold winter nights and make sure he is seen by other road users.

For Uncle Stan I was thinking of a winter driving kit with an ice scraper and de-icer to make sure those windows are completely clear of frost or snow in the morning and a hi vis vest, warning triangle and a torch to keep stored in the boot to help him be seen in case of a breakdown on a dark country lane.

Everybody loves a good book at Christmas and there’s one for everyone called the Highway Code. With advice and information for all road users from pedestrians to cyclists and drivers I could buy this for any one of several people on my Christmas list. I bet many of the drivers haven’t looked at this one since they were preparing for their test and that some of the pedestrians and cyclists didn’t even realise it was for them. They can test their knowledge and the rest of the family’s and make it part of the Christmas quiz.

Finally, what to buy my cycling mad husband? He’s asked for a new light for his bike for when he is out cycling at night. And don’t tell him, but I’ve also bought him a new hi vis jacket, to make him more visible to other road users.

So that’s my Christmas gift shopping done; practical ideas that hopefully keep the ones I love safer for another year. And the last gift that I can give is to everyone else out there on the roads; to look out for others and respect their needs, to give them room and consideration so that we all get home safely to our families.

Let’s hope that others can do the same.

Stay safe until next time.