On the 29th of January we saw eight new rules as well as 49 revisions to existing rules introduced in the Highway Code.
Now 8 months on how have things developed? Have you been putting the new rules into practice?
To recap, the changes implemented were…
Rule H1: New Hierarchy of Road Users
Drivers of vehicles that can cause the greatest harm in the event of a collision bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger to others.
Rule H2: New priority for pedestrians at junctions
At a junction, drivers, motorcyclists, horse riders and cyclists should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which or from which you are turning.
Rule H3: New priority for cyclists when cars are turning
Drivers and motorcyclists should not cut across cyclists, horse riders or horse drawn vehicles going ahead when you are turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane.
We spoke to Richard Gladman, Head of Driving and Riding Standards at IAM RoadSmart
, to hear about his experiences with the new changes, and what it means for the future of road safety.
“All road users should constantly consider their own and others safety, and the latest updates to the Highway Code highlighted the importance of protecting our most vulnerable road users. When driving and riding on the roads this year, I’ve found that pedestrians still tend to be reserved and allow cars to pass first as they are turning into junctions, but drivers and riders should consider pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross the road as a priority. If they are waiting to cross and we have real danger behind us then we would not be expected to cause a crash to comply with the changes. We can manage this by being more aware of our surroundings, and by slowing in or out of a junction whilst gathering information in front and behind us.”
“As drivers and riders, we should recognise that large vehicles need more space to do the simple things like turning a corner, and cyclists should also be aware of this. It’s important to note that the code still cautions against moving down the nearside of a vehicle slowing or indicating a turn. All of us should have been using a similar hierarchy in our driving and riding prior to the changes made earlier this year and have a good understanding of the vulnerability of other road users around us. Any efforts to encourage more awareness of the needs of others should be embraced.’’
Please note: Many of the rules in the Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules, you are committing an offence and may be prosecuted. You may be fined, given penalty points on your licence, or be disqualified from driving. In the most serious cases you may be sent to prison. Such rules are identified by the use of the words ‘MUST/MUST NOT’.
Full changes to The Highway Code can be found here.
If you’d like to refresh your driving and riding skills, why not check out IAM RoadSmart’s Courses.