• Skye Williams

Road users face new Highway Code shake-up as rules change

A cyclist on the street. Photo credit: NIVEDITA BHUSHAN

Motorists will face a set of new rules when the Highway Code changes tomorrow (Saturday). The Hillingdon Herald explains what the changes are and tells the reaction to them.

MOTORISTS in Britain are being urged to consider the safety of 'vulnerable road users'

in the change in the ‘hierarchy’ of road users. Drivers across the country will now have to follow eight new rules when it comes to their use of roads. This comes after a review of the Highway Code, intended to improve the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and horseback riders. Some of the changes that are coming into force from tomorrow (Saturday 29th January 2022), will see motorists having to give way to people crossing or waiting at junctions, at zebra crossings, and to priorities pedestrians and cyclists on parallel crossings. Passengers and drivers of vehicles will also now have to practice the use of the ‘Dutch Reach’ when existing. The technique requires whoever is leaving a vehicle to open the door using their hand on the opposite side, forcing them to turn their head to look over their shoulder to avoid hitting and injuring cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians passing by.

In a statement, a Hayes driving school, Logic School of Motoring said: ‘There will always be pros and cons to any new legislation, and although we at Logic School of Motoring understand the fears of some road users, we feel the only problem that may emerge is if those said vulnerable road users take advantage of and abuse their newly found ‘powers’.

“Any good driver using forward planning, anticipation and awareness skills, will always have ample time to take the necessary appropriate action needed in the event of a hazard arising. “

The driving school added:

“We welcome the new changes, as it further develops awareness of road safety.

One life saved is a life not lost."

Gov.uk has pushed that disobeying the new rules is viewed as a criminal offence.

On Friday the 28th of January 2022, students Benedicte Luvuadiokueno and Idil Yusuf explored the campus of Brunel University to question a group of attendees on what they thought about the new highway code changes and how they felt about this. The changes come after a public meeting on an overview of The Highway Code to enhance road safety for people walking, cycling and riding horses. It was in operation from July to October 2020, and received more than 20,000 responses from the public, businesses and other organisations. Most people who responded were for all the changes. The changes will be made to the Highway Code from 29th January 2022.

Kumar Acharjee, 20, Hounslow, Undergraduate student (Computer Science)

"It’s not safe to cycle on the road, cyclists are more likely to get hit on the road

Which is the fault of the old highway Code."

Zubeer Abdi, 22, Acton, undergraduate student, (civil engineering)

“It doesn’t really affect me because I don’t cycle or drive.”

Ranjana Nisanth, 26, Hayes MSc (Occupational Therapy)

“I'm not 100% familiar with the highway code, and im not familiar with the updates either.”

Safina Juma, 25, Harrow, MSc (Occupational Therapy)

“I remember reading about it when I was revising for my theory test, but I wasn’t aware of it changing."

Ismihan Over, 28, Enfield,MSc ( Occupational Therapy)

“I wasn’t really aware there was a change to the highway code, I thought it stayed the same.”

Alan Thompson, 58, Hillingdon, Occupation: System Engineer

“I don’t mind, it’s fine to be honest.”

Chang Xhao, 34, East Midlands (Loughborough), Occupation: Lecturer for Engines & Fuels

“I don’t really know about the Highway Code, I only got my driving licence a couple days ago due to covid. The government should’ve made it more apparent to the public.”

Chris Nichols, 28, Wales, Research student

“It’s good that the Highway Code is changing, as a lot of the Highway Code is not known to people. I know a bit about it, since there’s useful information as a motorcyclist, the elderly might be issue and not the younger generation."


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