New measures aimed at improving road safety are about to go live but campaigners have been slammed those in charge for not communicating the changes properly – a survey has shown one in three have no idea new guidance is being brought in.
Changes to the Highway Code are managed by the Department for Transport and the new rules state that cars must leave at least 1.5 metres room when passing bicycles - while revised guidance also says "it can be safer" for cyclists to ride two abreast.
In response to criticism about bringing in the changes silently, the DfT said changes "were announced to national press last summer” – and although we covered them here at Regit, we’d forgive you for getting their exact details and live dates given it was over six months ago and various scandals ago…
In other amendments, which will be formally set live on 29th January subject to clearance, drivers will have more responsibility to watch out for people cycling, walking or riding a horse.
Motorists have been told to not cut across cyclists or horse riders going straight ahead when turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane, to avoid "left hook" collisions - and allow cyclists priority at roundabouts.
Another recommendation is for car users to adopt the Dutch Reach technique – where by you open the car door using the hand on the opposite side to the door, as that will often lead to people looking over their shoulder.
For cyclists, they too have more responsibility to be aware of pedestrians and are required to give way to them waiting to cross.
Cyclists have also been instructed to ride in the centre of the lane in slower moving traffic, "on quiet roads or streets, moving over to the left if a faster vehicle comes up behind them, but only if they can do so safely" and "at the approach to junctions or where the road narrows, where it would be unsafe for drivers to overtake them".
Provisional Department for Transport (DfT) figures show 4,290 pedestrians and 4,700 cyclists were killed or seriously injured in crashes on Britain's roads in the year to the end of June 2021.
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