Highway Code rule change giving cyclists priority over drivers could create ‘confusion and dangerous situations’

Lifestyle / Sun 26th Dec 2021 at 04:59pm

HIGHWAY Code changes giving cyclists priority over drivers could create ‘confusion and dangerous situations’ because only a third of motorists know about it, the AA has warned.

The overhaul, coming into force on January 29 subject to parliamentary approval, means motorists will have to give way to cyclists and pedestrians at junctions.

It will create a new hierarchy of responsibility based on the vulnerability of road-users, with motorists assuming greater responsibility for reducing the danger posed to pedestrians and cyclists.

Cyclists will also have to act to reduce the danger posed to pedestrians.

Under the old code, pedestrians only had right of way at a junction if they were already on the road.

But under the revamped code, drivers and cyclists will have to give way if a pedestrian is waiting to cross a road they are turning into.

Cars indicating to turn left or right will also have to give way to cyclists coming from behind and going straight on, only turning once they have passed.

But an AA survey of 13,500 drivers found only a third knew about the changes.

Similarly, only a fifth were aware that the Code will advise of scenarios where cyclists ‘may sometimes ride in the centre of the lane, rather than towards the side of the road’ and that ‘it can be safer for groups of cyclists to ride two abreast in these situations’.

The AA is calling for an education campaign targeted at all road users to be initiated, rather than waiting for the rules to be adopted.

Edmund King, President of the AA, said: ‘With such fundamental changes to the Highway Code taking place to make our roads safer, we need to ensure road users understand the new rules ahead of time.

‘Getting the message out now would help avoid dangerous situations and remove any confusion on the roads before the new rules are adopted.’

The RAC’s roads policy chief, Nicholas Lyes, said: ‘A concerted effort must now be made to communicate the changes to drivers because as we know, many do not read the Highway Code for long periods after passing their test.

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6 Comments for Highway Code rule change giving cyclists priority over drivers could create ‘confusion and dangerous situations’:

2021-12-26 18:09:53

Possibly an increase in rear end claims coming?

2021-12-26 20:02:42

Pedestrians already walk out in front of cars at junctions now with their headphones on or playing on their phone, the attitude with some is that you won't run them over so why should I care

Quentin Hurst
2021-12-27 08:30:26

Can see a lot of rear end shunts with rule change, agree with previous comments plus cyclists in middle of lane , around us in Southampton they appear to ride on left, in middle and on the right depending on where they wish at that time. Be nice if they had to be covered by insurance too. If they're not already

David Pugh
2021-12-27 08:55:09

I can see a lot of accidents for pedestrians as motorists are knowing the new rules I think there should be TV advertising about new rules starting now on all channels so as motorists can learn about them all

Roger Lines
2021-12-27 09:15:49

What happens at night, badly lit roads, how is the motorist going to see pedestrians who ware dark cloths stepping out onto the road at the last moment, cyclists with no lights waring dark cloths (common ). There could be alot more deaths . Who make these laws up ?

Michael Hardware
2021-12-27 14:42:56

It is a driver’s duty to know the rules: ignorance is no defence. But yes, there does need to be some campaign to make people aware, whether driver, cyclist or pedestrian!

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