Warning Highway Code rule change could see potential ‘confusion and dangerous situations’

The AA found in a survey that only a third of drivers knew about the new rule, which could become law as early as the New Year,subject to parliamentary approval

Pedestrian cycle zone sign in a city
The rule is being introduced as part of a ‘hierarchy of road users’

A rule change in the Highway Code could lead to potential “confusion and dangerous situations”, the AA has warned.

Having surveyed more than 13,000 drivers, the AA found that only a third knew about the new rule.

The motoring association is now urging people to educate themselves on the new guidance which could become law as early as the New Year, if it gets parliamentary approval.

Under the revised rules, motorists will have to give way to cyclists and pedestrians at junctions and on a parallel crossing, from January 29.

The Highway Code changes would also mean drivers and cyclists would have to give way if pedestrians are waiting to cross the road into which or from they are turning, reports the MEN.

A Dutch style cycle lane in Manchester


Manchester Evening News)

For their safety, cyclists must also ride in the centre of the lane when approaching junctions and on quiet roads.

Additionally, the updated Highway Code will also offer guidance on safe passing distances and speeds when overtaking cyclists and horse riders.

The original Highway Code gave vehicles priority at junctions, so pedestrians only had right of way if they were already on the junction road.

The rule is being introduced as part of a ‘hierarchy of road users’, which recognises that road users who pose the greatest risk to others have a higher level of responsibility.

This is to ensure that road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others.

It means that drivers will have a greater responsibility to look out for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders, whereas a cyclist will have a greater responsibility to look out for pedestrians.

The guidance is intended to make roads safer for everyone.

A generic image of a sign indicating there are traffic enforcement cameras ahead


Manchester Evening News)

The AA told the MailOnline that people should understand the new rules ahead of time, saying: “Getting the message out now would help avoid dangerous situations and remove any confusion on the roads before the new rules are adopted.”

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: “The proposed upcoming changes to The Highway Code will improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders and were widely reported when they were announced earlier this year.”

To view the updated Highway Code rules, click here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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