Are Drivers Ignoring Highway Code Changes?

Sat 26th Nov 2022

According to a new survey, 75% of motorists are opposed to cyclists having priority on the road, based on recent changes to the Highway Code.

A new survey has found that three out of four motorists are against giving cyclists priority on the road, based on recent changes to the Highway Code.

Many motorists are dissatisfied with the Highway Code's recent modifications, according the research by Venson Automotive Solutions. The modifications, which took effect in January, gives priority to those road users most susceptible to injury, such as pedestrians and cyclists.

A “hierarchy of road users” was established, ensuring that larger modes of transport had the greatest responsibility to reduce the risks they posed.

Nearly 80 percent of drivers are opposed to the policy allowing cyclists to pass slower-moving or stopped vehicles on the right or left at intersections, including approaching junctions.

When deciding whether it is “safe” to pass lorries or other large vehicles, cyclists should proceed with caution.

According to Venson, the survey has raised concerns about the large number of people who admit to caring only about their own safety.

The changes to the Highway Code include fresh advice for cyclists to position themselves in the centre of a lane on quieter streets, in slower-moving traffic, and at intersections in order to make themselves as visible as possible.

It was also emphasized that riding two abreast, as has always been the case, is safer when there are large groups or children.

Other motorists, however, may overtake them if it is safe to do so, provided they are aware of them.

Alison Bell, Operations Director for Venson Automotive Solutions commented on the data, saying: “The Highway Code changes have been in place a while now but there was a lot of information for drivers to take onboard. 

“As we enter Road Safety Week it’s a timely reminder to all motorists to brush up on these changes, as well as existing rules.

“It is important to remember that we are all vulnerable on the roads.  

“When out of the car, all drivers are pedestrians themselves, and might ride a bike or horse too.  

“Whether you agree with the Highway Code or not, we should all remember that it is aimed at protecting all road users and it is our shared responsibility as road users to understand road rules with the aim of reducing serious and fatal injuries.”