Road users not in favour of Highway Code changes for cyclists

A recent survey found that the majority of road users are not in favor of many of the road code changes proposed by the Ministry of Transport to improve road safety for cyclists, pedestrians and riders, but instead increase conflict and potentially reduce the safety of vulnerable road users to protect them.

In the survey, conducted by the UK’s largest road safety organization, IAM RoadSmart, 71 percent of drivers and motorcyclists believe the new proposal to give pedestrians priority when entering and exiting intersections will exacerbate conflict rather than reduce it than half (57 percent) think this will be an important issue.

Of the 3,600 people polled online, 74 percent believe that children should be allowed to cycle on the sidewalk, but only 23 percent believe that cyclists should generally have the same rights.

Almost three-quarters (73 percent) think the new highway code should make wearing a helmet mandatory for cyclists, contrary to the proposed law itself, which provides evidence that wearing a bicycle helmet reduces the risk of head injury from repeated injuries among others certain circumstances, stop making them mandatory.

Meanwhile, 71 percent of respondents agree with the general concept that drivers and riders should give motorcyclists, cyclists, horse-riders, horse-drawn vehicles and pedestrians walking on the street at least as much space as they would if they overtook a car.

The majority (56 percent) agree that this is the case with the most controversial proposals of the new code – to establish a hierarchy of road users where those responsible for the vehicles that can cause the greatest damage should bear the greatest responsibility for maintenance is on the right track, but 26 percent are against it and almost one in five (19 percent) still has to be convinced one way or another.

The new code does not impose an obligation on cyclists to use bike lanes or lanes when they exist, and 80 percent of IAM RoadSmart respondents believe this is a mistake.

However, some of the proposed changes met with broad support. 63 percent of respondents agreed with the new advice that cyclists should run over and allow traffic to overtake them when driving on busy roads when vehicles are driving faster than they are. There is also strong support for any proposal that provides clear guidelines for the overtaking routes: 78 percent are in favor of one and a half meters between a cyclist and vehicle traveling below 30 miles per hour, and two meters when they are above 30 miles per hour Hour.

And 90 percent agree with the advice of the new code that riders and motorcyclists should give riders at least two meters of space and drive past at speeds below 24 km / h.

Finally, a little more than half (57 percent) agree with the new proposal to include “Dutch range” in the road traffic regulations. This is a technique that advises motorists to get out of their vehicles by operating the door handle with their left hand. This allows the rider to rotate their body naturally, making it easier to look over their shoulder and look for cyclists or other road users who are approaching.

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, said, “Whichever changes are introduced, it is clear that a full awareness campaign will be required to ensure that road code changes are understood and fully adopted by millions of existing UK drivers , Motorcyclists and road users. At IAM RoadSmart, we believe that an online resource would be helpful in providing engaging support for this re-education.

“The simple truth is that most of us only read the Highway Code when we’re driving or driving professionally, or about to take a test. The Department of Transportation needs to be realistic about the effect of simply changing a seldom read document on behavior and safety the road user has. ”


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