Highway Code changes could cause ‘chaos’ with more road rage and accidents expected

Highway Code changes could cause ‘chaos’ with more road rage and accidents expected


Highway Code: This Morning panel debate changes to code

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The new driving rules will be brought in on January 29 and will look to make roads fairer and safer for the most vulnerable users, especially cyclists and pedestrians. Despite this, some experts are unsure whether the changes will lead to the benefits in the short term, claiming that not enough has been said about the rules.

Rachel Price, Partner in the Road Traffic Accidents department at Express Solicitors, commented on the changes and the potential dangers that could be seen.

She said: “We’re very concerned for the welfare of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists if motorists are not fully aware of the major changes to the Code.

“Drivers will now be obliged to give vulnerable road users the right of way in scenarios where previously the driver had the right of way.

“This might mean a pedestrian waiting to cross – who now has right of way, steps out to cross and the driver fails to slow down and stop, causing a serious accident.

“In areas of high congestion, for example outside schools, the changes could create frustration for motorists who experience longer delays due to the change in right of way.

“Cyclists are being advised to cycle in the middle of the lane where possible and drivers are expected to leave them more room when overtaking.”

The law firm has also criticised the Government for a lack of investment in publicity ahead of a launch of significant changes, which they warn could cause “chaos” on the roads.

The new code will clarify that when cyclists are going straight ahead at a junction, they have priority over traffic waiting to turn into or out of a side road.

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Additionally, the updated rules will confirm that people cycling may pass slower-moving or stationary traffic on their right or left.

Cyclists will also be advised to ride in the centre of the lane on quieter roads in slower-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions.

In response to these changes, Ms Price added: “We know the sometimes fractious relationship between these road users and my worry is these Code changes will create more situations for road rage incidents to occur.

“Only a third of drivers were aware of the new rules when asked in December in an AA poll, and there has been no real publicity from the Government on this since then.

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