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5th Jul, 2022

New police campaign reinforces changes to the Highway Code

DRIVERS and cyclists are being urged to stay alert and look out for each other especially at junctions and to make sure you know the recent changes to the Highway Code.

The call comes from both West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police at the start of a new campaign co-ordinated by NPCC, the National Police Chiefs’ Council, to improve road safety and law enforcement.

Sergeant Shaun Bridle said “The changes to the Highway Code are a reminder that all road users have a responsibility to look after one another, in particular the most vulnerable road users such as cyclists.”

The new guidance in the Highway Code gives drivers and motorcyclists the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger they pose to cyclists.

Guidance for drivers and motorcyclists:-

Leave at least 1.5 metres or 5ft when overtaking cyclists at speeds of up to 30mph and give them more space when overtaking at higher speeds.

On roundabouts give priority to people cycling. You should not attempt to overtake cyclists within that person’s lane and allow people cycling to move across your path as they travel around the roundabout. Remember people cycling may stay in the left-hand lane of a roundabout when they intend to continue across or around the roundabout.

Stay behind if you are following a cyclist approaching a roundabout or junction, and you intend to turn left.

Drivers or motorcyclists wanting to turn either left or right should not cut across cyclists going straight ahead when you are turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane. The rule applies whether the cyclist is using a cycle lane, a cycle track or is on the road ahead

Check for cyclists when opening your car door by using the dutch reach. For example, drivers should use their left hand to open a door on their right-hand side. This will make them turn their head to look over their shoulder behind them.

Guidance for cyclists:-

The Highway Code has issued updated advice about safe road positioning for cyclists. It’s appropriate to ride in the centre of the lane on quiet roads, in slower moving traffic and at the approach to junctions or road narrowings.

Cyclists should keep at least 0.5m (approx 1.5ft) away from the kerb edge and further where it is safer when riding on busy roads with faster moving vehicles

Cyclists should take care when passing parked vehicles leaving enough room to avoid being hit if a car door is opened. Watch out for pedestrians.

Cyclists riding straight ahead have priority over traffic turning into or out of a side junction, unless road signs or markings indicate otherwise. However, cyclists still need to watch out for drivers who may not have seen them.

When someone is waiting to cross the road at a junction, or has started crossing, traffic including cyclists, should give way to them.

If a pedestrian is crossing at a zebra crossing, cyclists must give way.

Cyclists may pass slower moving or stationary traffic on either the left or right with caution.

In shared spaces, cyclists should give way to walkers and horse riders

Bike riders should slow down when necessary and let people walking know they are there for example by saying hello or ringing their bell

Always remember that pedestrians may be deaf, blind, or partially sighted

Cyclists should not pass walkers, horse riders or horse-drawn vehicles closely or at high speed especially from behind.

Do not pass a horse on the horse’s left.

The updated Highway Code advises that cyclists may ride two abreast. This can be safer, especially when riding in larger groups, or with children or inexperienced riders.

Cyclists should be aware of drivers trying to overtake them from behind and allow them to do so.

PS Bridle added: “Whilst it is optional, we are encouraging cyclists to make good choices about what clothing to wear especially when riding at night or in winter.

“Bright clothing, and reflective goods can make a huge difference. Although wearing a helmet isn’t a legal requirement, there are real safety benefits to wearing one.

“However one thing all cyclists must do is use cycle lights and reflectors between sunset and sunrise.”

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