Scaffolding Association comments on the upcoming changes in Highway Code laws which ‘many are confused or unaware’

A major overhaul of the Highway Code is expected to be made early in 2022 which among other changes will introduce a ‘hierarchy of road users’, with more vulnerable users such as pedestrians and cyclists prioritised. The government has said that it is investing £338million into the project to boost active travel across the UK.

Parliament still needs to approve the proposals which will require drivers to give pedestrians greater priority by stopping to give way to those waiting to cross as well as those already on a zebra crossing. According to new research, only one in three drivers know that vehicles are currently only required to stop at zebra crossings if pedestrians are already on the crossing.

Another proposed change would require cyclists to move into a single file to allow vehicles to pass which many motorists will welcome. However, perhaps the most controversial rule being proposed, is one which would allow cyclists to pass slower moving vehicles on either side, including when approaching junctions.

Many motoring groups have openly criticised the government suggesting that giving priority to cyclists, advocates the use of unsafe manoeuvres. In 2019, there were 14 deaths in the UK from incidents involving cyclists and HGV’s and it is common for these accidents to occur when cyclists attempt to undertake them, especially those turning left.

The Road Haulage Association said in a statement when the changes were first announced “Making a driver who has no control over how a cyclist is trained to use the roads responsible for the safety of others is inherently unjust and increases road danger and collision risk”.

Robert Candy, Chief Executive of the Scaffolding Association said:

“Pleading ignorance to rules which state something ‘must’ or ‘must not’ be done and which are backed up by law, is no excuse. Scaffolding businesses and others in the construction industry which operate a fleet of vehicles including cars, vans and HGV’s, must ensure their drivers are aware of their responsibilities, and the upcoming changes to the rules – whether they agree with them or not”.

For more information on the changes being proposed see here

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