Changes to the Highway Code to make roads safer for all - The Bromsgrove Standard

Changes to the Highway Code to make roads safer for all

Bromsgrove Editorial 28th Jan, 2022   0

CHANGES to The Highway Code designed to enhance safety for all road-users – particularly those most at risk – are set to come into effect from tomorrow,. Saturday, January 29, 2022.

If approved by Parliament, a hierarchy of road-users will be introduced this weekend, ensuring quicker or heavier modes of travel have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others on the road.

Cyclists will also receive fresh guidance to ride in the centre of a lane on quieter roads, in slower-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions in order to make themselves as clearly visible as possible.

They’ll also be reminded they can ride two abreast – as has always been the case and which can be safer in large groups or with children – but they must be aware of drivers behind them and allow them to overtake if it is safe to do so.

Meanwhile motorists will be encouraged to adopt the so-called ‘Dutch Reach’, opening the door next to them with the opposite hand so they look over their shoulder, meaning they’re less likely to injure passing cyclists and pedestrians.

The Government’s award-winning THINK! campaign will soon launch a communications drive, backed by over £500,000 in funding, raising awareness of the changes and ensuring road-users across the country understand their responsibilities.

For pedestrians the updated code will clarify that:

1) When people are crossing or waiting to cross at a junction, other traffic should give way

2) If people have started crossing and traffic wants to turn into the road, the people crossing have priority and the traffic should give way

3) People driving, riding a motorcycle or cycling must give way to people on a zebra crossing and people walking and cycling on a parallel crossing

A parallel crossing is similar to a zebra crossing, but includes a cycle route alongside the black and white stripes.

The new updates are advisory, so non-compliance will not result in a fine.

Roads Minister, Baroness Vere, said: “I’m proud to say we have some of the safest roads in the world, but I’m determined to make them safer still for everyone.

“These updates to The Highway Code will do just that by bringing the rules into the 21st Century, encouraging people to respect and consider the needs of those around them, and ensuring all road-users know the rules of the road.”

The Government initially announced the detail of the incoming updates to The Highway Code to national media last summer. They follow a public consultation where nearly 21,000 people submitted their views, with the majority supporting every single one of the changes coming into force this weekend.

The changes will be made to the digital version of The Highway Code this weekend, followed by an update to the printed version which is due to be published in April 2022.

Eight of the most significant changes are explained here

Active Travel Commissioner for England, Chris Boardman, said: ‘It shouldn’t take bravery to cross a road or ride to school with kids but sometimes it feels that way.

“These changes to the Highway Code clarify our responsibility to each other and simply reinforce what good road users already do.

“This refresh does more than offer guidance though, it makes our towns, cities and villages nicer places to live.”

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “These major changes to the Highway Code should make the roads safer for the most vulnerable road users, in particular those walking and cycling, so are to be welcomed.

“But it’s vitally important that all road users – especially drivers – take the time to fully understand what’s new as some of the changes are a significant departure from what’s gone before.

“For instance, drivers turning into a road should now give way to any pedestrians waiting to cross.”


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