New changes to the highway code have been introduced and are already in effect! However, there has been some confusion around what the rules are and what they mean for road users.
Cyclists and drivers seem to have been pitted against each other in the press with rules set to be favouring non-motorists. As part of the government’s goals to help make the population more healthy, it has introduced new rules to make the roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists. So, what are the changes and how do they impact us?
A new hierarchy for the road
The new rules of the road place vulnerable road users on top of the hierarchy. This means that pedestrians and cyclists will be more protected and motorists encouraged to be more vigilant. When turning now at side roads, those crossing by walking or cycling will have priority when motorists are waiting to turn.
Cyclists are asked to use their common sense and own judgment when cycle lanes are in place. However, it is a misconception that because a cycle lane is provided that it must be used by those on bikes. They are still free to ride on the road or pavement as long as it is safe to do so.
Cycling on the road
Motorists including both car and motorcycle users are now explicitly told to not turn across a cyclist’s path while turning into a junction. Cyclists are encouraged to ride two abreast when safe to do so as it reduces the time a driver spends on the opposite lane to overtake. When riding solo the cyclist should position itself in the middle of the traffic lane because it increases visibility. Vehicles should now give 1.5 meters of space under 30 miles per house and 2 meters of space over 30 miles per hour. Large vehicles always have to give 2 meters.
While many of the rules may seem new, it’s merely a formalization of basic courtesy that has been encouraged on the roads for years. Cyclists are expected to give way to pedestrians and motorists to both cyclists and pedestrians. If you use common sense and are courteous then you won’t go far wrong.
For more information about the new Highway Code rules, and how these affect personal injury claims for accidents on the road, get in touch. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01782 662424