The British Transport Department is considering adopting several changes in its highway code in order to boost the protection of susceptible road users on junctions when motorists turn off. For this reason, there are road safety campaigners all over the country, claiming that the Highway Code is not clear about what drivers are expected to do when turning.
The code’s rule number 170 states that pedestrians should be given priority if they have started to cross. However, it is not clear what should happen when a pedestrian is already stepping out of a pavement to cross and immediately a vehicle arrives at the junction.
The expected changes in the UK Highway Code will give pedestrians priority to cross all the time, just like it is in the US. Other than this, the British government wants to introduce the Dutch Reach technique, to protect cyclists against being hit by car doors or being overtaken closely by motorists.
This technique was introduced in Holland about 50 years ago, and it helps motorists to first check over their shoulders for any approaching car or cyclists before opening a car door. What drivers are required to do is to always open the door using the hand that is further away from the handle.
According to Cycling and Walking Minister, it is important to include measures that would protect all road users in equal measure now that cycling and walking has become an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the UK. Pedestrians and cyclists are not well protected by the safety codes in place at the moment, which is why necessary changes should be implements as soon as possible.
Before these changes, people are not feeling safe on the roads and therefore not many people are willing to start walking or cycling to enjoy the benefits it comes with. The minister also added that these measures are just the beginning of a process of improving and reforming highway safety measures that will help the country achieve overall safety for all road users.