Safety Codes

Safety Codes

There are a variety of safety codes issued by various bodies that would prove most useful to all members of the Scouting Movement.

Countryside Code

  • Be safe, plan ahead and follow any signs
  • Leave gates and property as you find them
  • Protect plants and animals and take your litter home
  • Keep dogs under close control
  • Consider other people

Firework Code

  • When buying fireworks, make sure they comply with BS 7114 and are clearly marked for their intended use "Indoor, Garden or Display"
  • Keep fireworks in a sealed box or tin
  • Use them one at a time, replacing the lid immediately
  • NEVER put fireworks in your pocket
  • Read the instructions carefully, using a torch or hand lamp
  • NEVER use a naked flame
  • Light fireworks at arms length us-ing a taper or a firework lighter
  • Stand well back and NEVER return to a firework after it has been lit, it could explode in your face
  • Ensure that all chidren with fire-works are well supervised
  • NEVER throw fireworks
  • Keep all pets and animals indoors
  • Take care of sparklers, wear gloves to hold them and dispose of sparklers in a bucket of water as soon as they are finished

Railway Safety

  • Do not ride a bicycle or skateboard on a station platform
  • Never cross the railway line to get to the other side, always use the footbridge or subway
  • Do not stand between the platform edge and yellow lines.
  • Keep back from the edge of the platform (whether there is a yellow line or not)
  • If you drop something on the line, do not go down and get it. Ask an official to do it for you.
  • If the train is pulling out as you arrive, never chase it and try to get on.
  • Never stick your head out of a moving train.
  • Do not throw anything out of the windows.
  • Never open a door until the train has stopped.
  • Never go onto a railway line or walk along it.
  • Never go onto a railway line. Never ever!
  • Railway lines are dangerous places. Don't damage the fences that are there to protect you.
  • Never put anything on the railway line.
  • Never throw anything at trains.
  • Never dangle anything from railway bridges.
  • Level crossings. Don't cross if the warning lights are on.

Passenger Safety

  • When you get in or out of a car, use the door nearer the pavement. Make sure the doors are shut properly. Only get out when you are told to do so and when you are sure it is safe.
  • Seat belts should be worn at all times.
  • Keep your hands away from door handles while the car is moving. Only open doors or windows when you are told it is safe.
  • Never lean or wave out of the window. Do not throw or hang anything out either.
  • A driver uses the mirror to see the traffic behind. Do not block the view.
  • When you wait for a bus, stand on the pavement well back from the traffic. Make sure there is room for other people to walk along. It is dangerous to play around at bus stops.
  • Wait for people to get off the bus before you get on.
  • Drivers are responsible for your safety. Always do what they tell you and do not distract them with bad behaviour.
  • After getting off a bus wait for it to move away if you have to cross the road. You will then be able to see the traffic clearly and the drivers will be able to see you.

Cycling Safety

Before you set off

  • Riding a cycle which is too big or too small for you can affect your balance.
  • Make sure your cycle is safe to ride. The brakes must work properly and tyres should be in good condition and pumped up. The chain should be correctly adjusted and oiled and it is a good idea to fit a bell. (Cycles must have a bell in Northern Ireland). Wear a cycle helmet - it will help to protect you if you have an accident.
  • When you have to carry anything on your cycle, use a bike bag or panniers. Carrying things on your handlebars makes steering difficult - they could also catch in the front wheel. Make sure that your clothing does not get caught in the chain or wheels.
  • Make sure that other road users can see you. Wear fluorescent materials in daylight and at dusk, and something reflective at night. A cycle spacer may be helpful as a warning to other drivers. At night you must have front and back lights which work well, and a clean back reflector.
  • Spoke and pedal reflectors are also useful.

Riding along

  • You should not ride on the pavement unless there are special signs allowing you to do so. Wheel your cycle to the edge of the kerb and, if safe, place it in the road. Get on your cycle and look all round for traffic even if you have a mirror fitted. When it is safe to move off, signal with your right arm if necessary. Then, with both hands on the handlebars, cycle away. Ride far enough from the edge of the road to avoid drains and gutters. Always keep both hands on the handlebars unless you are signalling. If riding with others on busy or narrow roads, you should ride one behind the other. Never ride more than two side by side on any road. Even if you are wheeling your cycle in the road, you must still obey traffic signals and road signs. You must also obey the signals made by police officers, traffic wardens or school crossing patrols.
  • Never hold onto any vehicle or another cyclist.
  • You must not carry a passenger on your cycle.
  • You should never lead an animal whilst cycling.
  • Before starting off, turning right or left, overtaking, or stopping, you must look behind and make sure it is safe. Give a clear arm signal to show what you intend to do. The signals that cyclists should give are shown later.
  • When turning from one road into another, look out for pedestrians who are crossing the road. Give way to them.
  • If you want to turn right from a busy road, moving to the middle of the road may be difficult and dangerous. It is often safer to stop on the left hand side before or after the junction and wait for a safe gap in the traffic before walking with your cycle across the road. This is especially important in the dark.
  • Watch out for traffic that may suddenly stop, turn left in front of you, emerge from a side turning or pull away from the kerb. Long vehicles need room to turn so do not ride up beside them when they do so.
  • Only overtake when you are certain it is safe to do so. If you are overtaking parked vehicles, watch out for them starting off while you are doing so. Look for car doors opening and for pedestrians darting out into the road in front of you.
  • You should not wear a personal stereo whilst cycling. You can't hear the other traffic if you do so, and riding on the road needs your full attention.

Parking your cycle

  • Always park your cycle sensibly so that it is not in the way of other people. Lock it to prevent it being stolen and have the frame stamped with your postcode.

Pedestrian crossings

  • You must stop for pedestrians on Zebra crossings.
  • Be ready to stop for the red light at Pelican crossings. When the amber light flashes, you may continue if there is nobody on the crossing.

Bus lanes

  • Only ride in bus lanes if there is a cycle shown on the sign.

Other road users

  • Be careful when cycling near horses and other animals. Give them plenty of room as you go by. Animals are easily frightened by sudden noises so do not use your bell.

Cycle routes

  • In some areas special cycle routes and paths are provided. You will see the following signs to show the different paths. Always use them.


  • Roundabouts can be difficult for cyclist to use safely. If you are not sure it is safe, get off your cycle and walk. When riding into a roundabout you must give way to traffic coming from your right. Look out for vehicles which may turn in front of you.

Cycling in the dark

  • When cycling in the dark or at dusk, you must have a white front lamp, a red rear lamp and a red reflector. Wear something reflective and fit spoke reflectors. If you have dynamo lighting, remember the lights go out when you stop. When other vehicles are using their lights, use yours too.
  • If you want to turn right, it is more difficult and dangerous to move to the middle of the road when it is dark. Stop on the left hand side and wait for a gap in the traffic before you turn.

Pedestrian Safety

When Walking

  • Where there is a pavement or footpath, walk on it. Keep as far away from traffic as possible.
  • Where there is no footpath, walk on the right hand side of the road to face the traffic coming towards you. Walk one behind the other at bends in the road or at night or if there is a lot of traffic. Take special care at right hand bends.
  • If you are looking after somebody younger than you, always hold their hand when using the road.
  • It is difficult for a driver to see you in the dark or in bad weather. When you have to be out then, always wear light-coloured or bright clothing. Fluorescent materials show up in daylight and at dusk. Always wear or carry something reflective at night.

The Green X Code

  • First find a safe place to cross, then stop. It is safer to cross at subways, footbridges, islands, Zebra and Pelican crossings, or where there is a police officer, school crossing patrol or traffic warden. If you can't find any good crossing places like these, choose a place where you can see clearly along the roads in all directions. Try not to cross between parked cars. Move to a clear space and always give drivers a chance to see you clearly. Always stop at the kerb and give yourself lots of time to have a good look all around.
  • Stand on the pavement near the kerb. Don't stand near the edge of the pavement. Stand a little way back from the kerb - where you will be away from the traffic, but where you can still see if anything is coming. If there is no pavement, stand back from the edge of the road but where you can still see traffic coming.
  • Look all round for traffic and listen. Traffic may be coming from any direction, so take care to look along every road, and listen too, because you can sometimes hear traffic before you can see it.
  • If traffic is coming, let it pass. Look all round again.
  • When there is no traffic near, walk straight across the road. Do not cross unless there is a safe gap and you are sure there is plenty of time. If you are not sure, don't cross. Always walk across, don't run.
  • Keep looking and listening for traffic while you cross.

Crossing at a Pelican Crossing

  • When there is a Pelican crossing, use it. Do not cross on the zig- zag lines. At these crossings the traffic is controlled by traffic lights. Press the button and wait. When the red man signal is showing, do not cross. The lights will soon change and a green man signal will appear. Look to make sure the traffic has stopped, then cross carefully.
  • When the green man signal begins to flash, you should not start to cross. However, if you have already started, you will have time to finish crossing safely.
  • A Pelican crossing which goes straight across the road is one crossing, even if there is a central island. Traffic must stop for you when the green man is showing. Some crossings do not go straight across the road. Here you must press the button again on the central island to get the green man signal. At some Pelicans there is a bleeping sound to tell blind people when the green man signal is showing.

Crossing at a Zebra Crossing

  • If there is a Zebra crossing, use it. Do not cross on the zig-zag lines, only on the black and white stripes.
  • Drivers need plenty of time to slow down and stop. Wait on the pavement near the kerb until all the traffic has stopped before you start to cross. Remember, vehicles need more time to slow down if the road is wet or slippery.
  • After traffic has stopped, walk across. Keep looking all round and listening in case a driver has not seen you. Watch out for overtaking vehicles.
  • If there is an island in the middle of the crossing, stop on it. Look all round and listen, and after the traffic has stopped, walk across.

Crossing where there is an island in the road

  • Use the Green Cross Code to cross to the island. Stop there and use the Code again to cross the second half of the road. Remember to look all round and listen.

Crossing at a junction

  • If you have to cross at a road junction, look out and listen for traffic turning the corner, especially from behind you.

Crossing at traffic lights

  • At some traffic lights there are red and green signals for pedestrians which tell you when to cross. Always obey them.

Crossings controlled by police, traffic wardens or school crossing patrols

  • When school crossing patrols, police officers or traffic wardens are controlling the traffic, wait until they signal to you to cross the road. Always cross in front of them.

Crossing one-way streets

  • Use the Green Cross Code. Check which way the traffic is going.
  • Remember that in one-way streets there will usually be more than one traffic lane going in the same direction. Do not cross until it is safe to cross all the lanes of traffic.

Parked vehicles

  • Try not to cross between parked cars. However, if there is nowhere else to cross, choose a place where there is a space between two cars. Make sure neither car is about to move off. Walk to the outside edge of the cars and stop. Here you can be seen by drivers and you can look all round for traffic. Use the Green Cross Code. When it is clear, cross, still looking and listening as you go.

Crossing bus lanes

  • In these lanes, buses may go faster than other traffic. Sometimes they go in the opposite direction. Cyclists and taxis may also be using them so take special care when crossing.

Guard rails

  • Guard rails are there to protect you. If you need to cross the road walk to the gap in the guard rails and use the Green Cross Code. Never climb over or walk outside them.

Railway level crossings

  • There are many kinds of crossings - all can be dangerous. They may have gates or barriers or even no barriers at all. There may also be warning lights or bells. You must never cross when red lights flash or when you can hear warning sounds. Always stop behind the STOP line. Never go past a barrier that is down. Remember, if the lights continue to flash after a train has gone, another train is coming. It is not safe to cross until the lights go out.
  • If there are no flashing red lights, warning sounds or gates, you should still stop, look and listen to make sure it is safe to cross.
  • You must always obey the instructions shown at crossings