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The Driver's Handbook

Care, Courtesy, Common Sense

You must drive or ride at all times with due care and attention, with reasonable consideration for other road users, and while exercising courtesy and common sense. We must all share the road together.

You have a duty to avoid collisions and, where necessary, to give way to other vehicles and pedestrians. The law does not give anyone indisputable 'right of way'. Even when you feel that you have right of way, you must still make sure the other driver is going to give way before proceeding because the other driver may be unaware of your approach.

You may see other road users behaving aggressively or engaging in unsafe driving practices. Don't be pressured by other drivers, and try to stay calm and in control of your vehicle at all times. Don't over-react to thoughtless or deliberately aggressive driving by another driver.

You should also be in control of the inside of your vehicle. Don't let your passengers distract you, obstruct your vision, or influence your decisions by giving advice that may not always involve driving safely.

  • Know where you are in relation to your surroundings: the road, other cars, or pedestrians.
  • Stay alert.
  • Be courteous and remain calm when others are angry or aggressive.
  • Take special care with pedestrians and bicycles.

When you are driving, you should always be able to see everything that is happening on the road. You need to be able to 'scan' or 'read' the road - not just looking ahead but continually moving your eyes and taking sweeping looks at all areas of the road, both close to your vehicle and further down the road. Be aware of what is behind you, as well. Use your mirrors at frequent intervals so that you know what other road users are doing and can anticipate their actions.

Be aware of where your vehicle is in relation to the road and to other vehicles and road users.

Watch out for people or anything that is moving or could move, and be ready to take action. Make extra allowance for children, parents with babies, the frail or elderly who may not be able to move quickly.

When you are driving near parked vehicles, you should look out for pedestrians, especially children, who may step out onto the road.

Children are small and can be unpredictable, so be sure to look around and watch out for them. This could save a child's life.

Remember that causing injury or a death would not only be devastating for the family and friends of the victim, but also for you as the driver.

Bicycles are classified as vehicles, and bicycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as all other drivers. (The meaning of the terms 'driver', 'road user' and 'vehicle' are included in the Glossary.)

You should also watch for people riding wheeled recreational devices and toys, such as skates or skateboards, on residential streets and footpaths. You have the same responsibility towards them as you do towards pedestrians - while they have the same obligations and responsibilities as pedestrians to take care.

If there are signs or road markings, drivers, motorcycle and bicycle riders must obey them, in every situation.

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