Highway Code changes could bring ‘difficulty’ for experienced drivers – warning

Highway Code changes slammed by Steve McNamara

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The driving law changes are being made to improve the safety of those most at risk on the road, with more vulnerable road users gaining priority. This will include pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and motorcyclists, with the Department for Transport saying everyone has “an equal right to use the road”.

The Government said it recognises the importance of The Highway Code keeping pace with the way in which people get about as well as with changes to transport infrastructure.

The main changes aim to make life easier for pedestrians and cyclists on the road, with a number of priorities being given to the groups.

New rules include giving priority to cyclists on roundabouts, with the rules setting out that plenty of space should be given and drivers are warned not to overtake them within their lane.

Other changes include an increased distance for safe passing, with the new guidance outlining that drivers should leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking at speeds of up to 30mph.

When driving at higher speeds, motorists should leave at least two metres, with further space being given when overtaking horse riders at speeds under 10mph.

Seb Goldin, CEO of RED Driving School, commented on the changes and how important it was for the new rules to be adopted by everyone.

Speaking with Express.co.uk, he said: “At RED, we welcome the upcoming changes to the Highway Code to protect all vulnerable road users.

“In the 12 months prior to June, 4,290 pedestrians and 4,700 cyclists were killed or seriously injured on UK roads.

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“The new rules are an opportunity to reduce this figure significantly going forward as safety is prioritised.

“Although the list of changes can appear intimidatingly long, the new rules are both easy to teach for professional driving instructors and easy to understand for new drivers.

“This is because new drivers often have more recent experience of being a vulnerable road user themselves – either as a pedestrian and/or a cyclist, therefore they appreciate the need for these changes and as a result are more likely to adopt them into their normal driving.

“The difficulty will be getting experienced drivers to adopt the new rules.”

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