UK

AA issue urgent warning to UK drivers amid changes to Highway Code next week

The AA has issued an urgent warning to UK drivers amid a change to the Highway Code rules next week.

It is due to became updated on January 29 pending parliamentary approval to introduce a risk-based hierarchy of road users.

One in three drivers are unaware major changes to road rules aimed at protecting cyclists and pedestrians come into force next week, a new survey suggests.

Some 33% of motorists polled for the AA said they did not know the Highway Code is being revamped, including 4% who have “no intention” of looking at the details.

The AA accused the Government of being “far too silent” on the changes, but the Department for Transport (DfT) insisted it will ensure “all road users are aware”.

Changes to Highway Code in January

Someone driving will have more responsibility to watch out for people cycling, walking or riding a horse, and cyclists will have more responsibility to be aware of pedestrians.

Other key amendments include clearer guidance for drivers to leave a distance of at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists, and instructing drivers turning into a road to give way to pedestrians waiting to cross.

There will also be a recommendation for car users to reduce the risk of opening a door into the path of a cyclist by using the hand on the opposite side to the door, as that will often lead to them looking over their shoulder.

This is known as the Dutch Reach technique.

AA issue warning to UK drivers

AA head of roads policy Jack Cousens said: “With a week to go, too many drivers are unaware of the new rules of the road.

“While the Government formally announced these changes last summer, they have been far too silent in promoting them.

“Shockingly, one in 25 drivers say they have no intention of looking at the new rules.

“These changes affect everyone, so we encourage people to read the updated code now so we can make our roads safer.”

Department of Transport share plans to make people aware of Highway Code changes

A DfT spokesman said: “The proposed upcoming changes to the Highway Code will improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders and were announced to national press.

“The department has established a working group of key organisations to ensure that messages about the changes are as widespread as possible and our well-established Think! campaign will continue to ensure all road users are aware both when these changes come into effect and beyond.”



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