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Pavement and Driveway Safety

By: John Beith - Updated: 26 Feb 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Home Safety Home Safety Property

The safety and maintenance of your driveway or any objects or part of your property that overhangs or intrudes onto the pavement outside your property is your responsibility. Public employees like the postman etc who need access to deliver could make a claim if your driveway is in an unsafe state and causes them injury.

Your driveway should be clear of any debris, or objects that could cause injury. Loose paving stones holes, or any uneven surfaces should always be repaired as soon as possible. Gates and fences on your property should also be kept in a good state of repair to protect both your family and passers by from injury.

Kids and Pets

If you have children or pets adequate protection should be provided to stop them from running from the driveway straight onto the road. If children or pets are playing on your driveway you should make sure gates are locked, and that fences don't have gaps in them large enough for a child or pet to get through.

You should always be on the look out for children and pets when driving in or out of your driveway. Many accidents take place every year when cars are being reversed in and out of driveways. It's very easy for a small child to wander into the path of a reversing car without being seen by the driver. Before entering your car make sure you walk round the vehicle to ensure the driveway is clear. If pets are running loose tie them up or put them back into the house before setting off. Use your mirrors to check for children or pets wandering into your path, sound your horn before reversing and make sure to look out for pedestrians who may be walking past on the pavement.

Don't let your children play unsupervised if you have no gates. If you are on your own and need to move the vehicle, place the child inside the vehicle before moving it.If at all possible get someone to guide you out of the driveway and inform you of any dangers.

Overhanging Hedges and Trees

Any overgrown hedges or trees that overhang your property and cause problems for pedestrians walking along the pavement or a public right of way are classed as an obstruction. The Local Authority can make a formal request for you to cut them back. If the work is not carried out within the time limit set in the formal request (usually around 10-14 days) the council can take action and cut the offending trees or hedges themselves. A bill will then be sent to you for any work carried out.

Gates

Any gates fitted across a vehicle entrance must only open inwards. Under no circumstances can they open outwards and block the footpath.

Other Considerations

Drainage -You must provide suitable drainage within the boundaries of your property. A driveway must be constructed or designed so that water doesn't doesn't drain from it onto the pavement or footpath.

Parking - Some people park on the pavement outside their property. You should be aware that any damage caused to the pavement by doing so is your responsibility. You are liable to any costs the local authority may incur if they have to make repairs.

Gravel Driveways - If you have a gravel driveway a 50cm strip of blacktop or concrete should be laid from the boundary to where the gravel starts. This is to try and stop any gravel from being carried from your property onto the pavement or road. If any materiel is carried onto the pavement or road it will be your responsibility to sweep it and keep it clear.

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