‘Clear confusion’: Drivers unaware of basic Highway Code laws set to launch next year

Lincolnshire: Cyclist clashes with motorist over Highway Code

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Major driving law changes are expected to be made to the Highway Code in early 2022, which will create a “hierarchy of road users”. The Government is investing £338million into the project which is to boost active travel across the UK by prioritising pedestrians and cyclists.

New research has found that only one in three drivers know that vehicles are only required to stop at zebra crossings if pedestrians are already on the crossing.

If Parliament approves the proposed Highway Code changes, drivers will have to give pedestrians greater priority by stopping to give way to pedestrians waiting to cross as well as those already on the crossing. 

Just under three quarters of survey respondents agree this would be a good change.

Another new rule would require cyclists to move into a single file to allow vehicles to pass, with 60 percent agreeing with this potential law change.

The least popular proposed new rule would allow cyclists to pass slower moving vehicles on either side, including when approaching junctions.

This has brought up some safety concerns which was reflected by the survey as only 26 percent of drivers thought this rule should be introduced.

Alison Bell, Marketing Director at Venson Automotive Solutions, said: “Knowing the Highway Code is essential in making our roads safer places.

“However, there is clearly confusion about what is and isn’t law. 

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“Take for example undertaking, there are circumstances where undertaking is necessary, such as a congested road, but only if it’s safe to do so.

“One cause of undertaking is middle-lane hogging, an offence in itself that’s punishable with an on the spot £100 fine and three penalty points.

“One of the new proposed changes in the law next year that’s likely to catch people out, is using of the horn to invite pedestrians and cyclists to cross the road.

“Depending on the severity, and whether or not the rules are legal requirements, breaking the rules of the Highway Code could lead to prosecution, points on your licence, fines or even a custodial sentence.

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