GB News: Panel debate Highway Code changes
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The Government announced that changes would be made to Highway Code on January 29, 2022. The new driving laws aim to make the roads safer for all who use them, creating a “hierarchy of road users” in the process.
With the new hierarchy, pedestrians and cyclists will have priority over motorists at junctions, reinforcing the safety aspect of the change.
In practice, the rules mean drivers will need to give extra room and priority to pedestrians and cyclists while driving.
By prioritising those who are the most vulnerable on and around roads, the Government is aiming to make driving safer and more environmentally friendly.
Ben Pepper, associate solicitor at Bolt Burdon Kemp, commented on the changes and how it could lead to more incidents on the road.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “The Highway Code changes have created a new hierarchy for road users giving more priority to those who are vulnerable (e.g. cyclists) to protect them.
“The idea is to reduce accidents.
“These are to be welcomed – but if the new rules aren’t publicised widely enough, there will be huge confusion, with some road users following the new regime at junctions, whilst others will be assuming the old rules still apply.
“Everyone will become more vulnerable to accidents as a result!
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“Are these new rules an accident waiting to happen?”
One of the law changes includes the introduction of the “Dutch Reach”, which is being added to protect cyclists and pedestrians.
The Dutch Reach is a practice for drivers and passengers where, rather than using the hand closest to the door to open it, they use their far hand.
By doing this it forces the body to naturally turn towards the door, allowing the driver or passengers to have a better view and see if any pedestrians or cyclists are moving towards them.
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