On both a personal and a professional level, it might be worth reviewing The Highway Code given that it’s being updated this weekend.
The new rules, designed to improve the safety of road users; in particular pedestrians, cyclists and those riding horses, will come into effect on 29/01/22.
There will now be a new hierarchy of road users based on vulnerability. So, cyclists must watch out for pedestrians, cars must watch out for cyclists, and heavy goods vehicles must watch out for…..everyone.
After much debate, pedestrians will now have priority at junctions and zebra crossings.
Under the new rules, if a driver turns into a junction and a pedestrian is waiting to cross the road, the driver must now give way to the pedestrian. Previously, this would only happen if the pedestrian was already crossing the road.
The same new rule will also apply to pedestrians waiting at zebra crossings, as well as pedestrians and cyclists alike waiting at parallel crossings.
The new rules further aim to better protect cyclists. Clarification is also provided to explain when cyclists are permitted to ride in the centre of a lane, in an attempt to make themselves more visible.
Cyclists are urged to keep at least half a metre away from the kerb, with drivers to leave at least 1.5 metres of space at speeds up to 30mph. Drivers travelling in excess of 30mph must give cyclists more room.
Finally, the ‘Dutch Reach’ method is best advised if opening the door to a vehicle. The practice is to open the vehicle door with the hand furthest away, forcing you to turn your head and look backwards, enabling you to spot an oncoming cyclist or other road user.
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