Would you like it if drivers gave you a bit more wiggle room when you’re cycling? Or maybe if passing a row of parked vehicles wasn’t like playing a game of Russian roulette with car doors? Well back in July the government launched a long overdue consultation on proposed Highway Code changes, to update it and make it work better for the most vulnerable of road users, specifically pedestrians, cyclists and horse-riders. This is a big opportunity for positive change and to really make getting from A to B safer and easier for everyone, and help us all make local journeys without the reliance on private cars.
There are 10 key changes to the Highway Code proposed, including clearer guidance on overtaking cyclists (Rule 163), advice on the use of the Dutch Reach to prevent car-dooring, and clarification that groups of cyclists can cycle two abreast (Rule 66).
Other proposals include improving safety at junctions by making it clearer who has right of way, and introducing a hierarchy of responsibility for different road users.
Cycling UK has produced a short film which shows why a simple rule change on priority at junctions is needed, bringing Britain in line with rules common across Europe. Whether you’re cycling, driving or walking – whoever is going straight ahead has right of way. You can view it here:
The new hierarchy would mean that people in charge of the largest vehicles, with the potential to cause the most harm in a collision, would bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger they pose to others. This means a lorry driver would have a greater responsibility to those driving a car or motorcycle, and likewise people cycling would have a greater responsibility than pedestrians.
Cycling UK have created a quick and easy way to respond to the consultation, it literally took me 2 minutes! The consultation ends on 27th October 2020, head to: www.cyclinguk.org/highwaycode to have your say.