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We share the same roads: it’s all about respect

(Image: CERN)

Thousands of us use the CERN roads every day. As the days get longer and lighter, we see an increased variety of modes of transport, with motorbikes, (e-)bicycles and (e-)scooters joining cars and pedestrians on the network.

Unfortunately, this also means an increase in road-related incidents. In the past two years, 134 road safety incidents were reported on the CERN sites. Of these, 58 involved bicycles. The total number is probably greater in reality as not all incidents are reported. Broadly, road incidents are on the rise.

In this context, one of CERN’s health and safety objectives for 2023 is to reduce the number of road incidents and incivilities on site. A number of dedicated measures will be implemented to this end, such as a mandatory e-learning and a test for users of CERN bikes.

CERN will further pursue its efforts to better adapt its infrastructure to ensure that cyclists and pedestrians can move safely among the stream of vehicles circulating daily. This is a process of continuous improvement and relies on people reporting incidents in order to understand where the hot spots are and to take measures to address them. Most recently, for example, the roundabout near Gate E was re-engineered for improved co-existence of cyclists and motorised traffic. If you are the victim or witness of an incident or a near miss, whether inside or outside the CERN site, report it promptly using the incident declaration form to support CERN in its continuous improvement effort.

A dedicated Mobility Working Group comprising representatives of all the departments as well as the HSE unit regularly reviews road infrastructure matters and recommends measures to improve all aspects of mobility at CERN, including safety. These include how to improve traffic flow, develop cycle lanes and footpaths, and deliver optimised infrastructure for the benefit of all users, whatever their mode of transport.

Whether we are cyclists, motor vehicle users or pedestrians, we all have a role to play in keeping ourselves and each other safe.

The analysis of traffic incidents shows that the most common causes are a lack of attention or a lack of respect for other road users. Did you know that, of the 58 cycling incidents, 18 were linked to vehicles not giving way? Exercising common sense and mutual respect, and being mindful of the need to act with greater caution towards the most vulnerable users, are the cornerstones of road safety.

Everybody must follow the highway code on the site, in the same way as they do outside CERN, and, in particular, moderate their speed, respect pedestrian and cycle paths and be mindful of other users at junctions and crossings.

If you’re a driver, give cyclists and pedestrians space, and take care when leaving parking spaces. An increasing number of car-park spaces are designed for reverse parking to avoid accidents: look out for the relevant signage.

If you’re a cyclist or an e-scooter user, use the designated lanes where possible and observe all road signs. Be mindful of drivers’ blind spots and wear a helmet, high-visibility jacket and reflectors.

When using roads, inside and outside CERN, common sense and common courtesy prevail. Look out for other road users, and for yourself! Don’t just think “safety first”. Think “safety always”.

Find out more on the road safety webpage: https://hse.cern/safety-risks/road-safety

HSE unit and SCE department