The rules of the road: here’s what will change Car News

Amendments to the Highway Code 2021

Proposals have been made to change who has priority. We explain them and dispel an old confusion

If you last read the rules of the road when preparing to take your driving test, now might be a good time to review it – or rather think about having to do it soon.

Over the years, updates and new rules, large and small, have crept in; and now changes have been proposed that will give pedestrians and cyclists greater priority over motor vehicles. The government hopes to have them approved by parliament and published this fall.

Here we bring you some of the most notable changes planned, remind you of the Code additions and updates of recent years, and dispel some common misconceptions. Note that where terms should and should not be used in the Code, the rule has legal weight, but where should and should not be used, it is only guidance.

What are the proposed changes to the code?

The proposed changes are based on a concept that the Ministry of Transport calls a “hierarchy of road users”. In decreasing order of vulnerability, they are: pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders, motorcyclists and motorists. It places the greatest responsibility on the drivers for the safety of other road users. However, the DfT adds that it will remain the responsibility of all road users to ensure their own safety and that of others.

“The changes address the concept of shared space on our roads,” says Steve Garrod, Continuing Professional Development Manager at the Driving Instructors Association. “More of us share it, but too many drivers think it’s theirs and no one else’s. The new code will give more priority to cyclists and pedestrians, and drivers need to understand it. “

The RAC supports the planned changes but says they should be properly communicated to drivers to avoid creating confusion. “Unless people who are used to approaching an intersection in a certain way are properly informed, you risk a collision,” says Nicholas Lyes, the organization’s head of road policy. “People should read the Code, but most don’t, so the government will need to clarify the changes. “

Common error

Garrod describes the highway code as “50 shades of gray”. Here are five of those shades:

You have to let the buses out

There is a lot of confusion about this, with even some driving instructors claiming that a bus has the right to leave a stop after a certain number of cars have failed to let it out. In fact, he does not have this right. Instead, the Code tells drivers to always give priority to buses, coaches and streetcars, but only when it is safe to do so.

You must not undertake

Although the Code says that drivers should not pass on the left or move into a lane on their left to pass, it does say that in heavy traffic it is a good idea to pass (read undertake) cars in a lane that moves slower than you are there.

It’s good to just put Fido in the passenger seat

The Code clearly states that pets must be properly restrained in cars, using a seat belt harness, carrier, dog crate or dog guard. .

As long as only the windshield is cleared of snow, it’s good to start

The Code says that any snow that might fall in the way of other road users must be removed.

It is okay to break the law by allowing an emergency vehicle to pass

Although the Code says you must take appropriate action, you must only do so by obeying all road signs.

Key proposals for priorities at crossings and crossroads

  • At a crossroads, you must give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road on which or from which you branch off.
  • You must yield the right of way to pedestrians waiting to cross a zebra crossing and to pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross a parallel crossing; but you must give way when a pedestrian or a cyclist has entered a level crossing (this last rule is valid).
  • Do not wave or use your horn to invite pedestrians or cyclists to cross; it could be dangerous if another vehicle approaches.
  • You should stay behind cyclists and motorcyclists at intersections, even if they are waiting to turn and are positioned near the sidewalk.
  • You should not cross advancing cyclists when entering or exiting an intersection or when changing direction or lane, just as you would not make a turn across the path of another motor vehicle.
  • Do not turn at an intersection if doing so would cause a cyclist going straight to stop or swerve, as you would not with a motor vehicle.

Main proposals for overtaking

  • When overtaking motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders, drivers must leave a minimum distance of 1.5 meters at speeds below 30 mph and 2 meters at speeds above 30 mph and at least 2 meters of space where a pedestrian walks on the road, passing them at a slow speed. If you can’t, you have to wait.

Key proposals for waiting and parking

  • Vehicle occupants must open their vehicle door with their hand on the side opposite the door they …

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This notice was published: 2021-08-29 05:01:23

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