Author Topic: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020  (Read 3111 times)

Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« on: 03 August, 2020, 10:07:44 pm »
Consultation on proposals to increase priority for pdedestrians, horse riders, cyclists and motor cyclists, including e.g. minimum passing distances for cars passing more vulnerable road users.

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/K736D5/

(Apologies if this has been posted before but it was not shoing in a search - happy for Mods to merge/delete if something already exists).

Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #1 on: 04 August, 2020, 06:59:17 pm »
Lots of proposed changes, and quite a lengthy consultation to go through, but worth doing I think.

For comparison purposes the existing HC is here:

https://www.gov.uk/browse/driving/highway-code-road-safety

Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #2 on: 06 August, 2020, 11:03:37 pm »
It may be worth quoting the consultation page because we are recommended to review the document before responding.

I'm surprised that there has been little discussion of this. In general it looks positive but:
  • On roundabouts, it seems as though the discredited suggestion of staying in the left lane when turning right is reappearing. This was, I believe, finally removed from the HC when research showed that it was the most dangerous option available (because drivers going straight ahead tend to accelerate through the right-turning cyclist).
  • Some of the "just as you would with a motor vehicle" statements almost make it seem as though a bike is something different or special. Well of course it doesn't have a motor. But I wonder whether explicit statements such as that the reason for treating a bike like any other vehicle is precisely that it is a vehicle would help to establish the basis better? Similarly, a statement that the reason that a bike can take the lane is that the bike is just a vehicle like any other, and that is why it needs to be overtaken like any other?

Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #3 on: 30 July, 2021, 04:25:24 pm »
Summary of the responses to this consultation is now out:  https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-the-highway-code-to-improve-road-safety-for-cyclists-pedestrians-and-horse-riders/outcome/government-response-to-the-review-of-the-highway-code

Generally pretty measured and sensible response, although still plenty of "devil in the detail" work between now the final version.

I am just glad I didn't have to read though all the 21,000 responses. Their measured summary text must hide an awful lot of bile from "Angry Motorist of Bromley" (other car-centric suburbs available) responses.

I particularly liked "Other disagree respondents thought that cyclists and horses should not be allowed on roundabouts, and that cyclists should dismount and cross roundabouts as pedestrians use crossings". And "There were many comments around mandatory cycle training, testing and insurance.". I bet there was.

Just a pity they regarded Hi-Vis and helmet wording to be out of scope. Given the importance they are now rightly placing on a hierarchy of road users (by inverse capacity to do harm to others), it seems entirely within scope to be concerned that cyclists are singled out to wear PPE to accommodate danger created by others.

Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #4 on: 30 July, 2021, 04:45:03 pm »
I refuse to open that link as I swore never to get involved in cycle campaigning again and having not agreed with my ex-MP when I lobbied him to assist me.

My view is simple.
1) All people are equal whether we walk/cycle/drive/entrust our lives to a dumb animal such as a horse.
2) The rules of the road are simple and we should just flow along our way smoothly.  If we are in a faster vehicle and somebody is in the way, whether a fallen tree/pedestrian/milk float/cyclist/slow traffic jam then we should be considerate towards them.
3) There should be no requirement to wear specific clothing to undertake a journey unless is it personal choice.  Last time I looked passengers in motorcars were statistically at more risk of head injuries than cyclists so please don't mandate the H word.     Should a passenger in a car want to wear hi-viz then fine, should a cyclist want to wear lycra then fine, if it's raining and a pedestrian wants to use an umbrella (my personal hated item) then that's fine, if a person chooses to nip to the shops by foot and bike while wearing Jeans and t-shirt then that's fine.
4) We should all be allowed rights to be on the road, whether pedestrian/cyclist/motorist/dumb animal.  Specifying a specific place for each, such as cyclepath, undermines the rights for people to use the road.
5) Having a documented process to lay out the rules of the road undermines the simple principle that we are all equal and should treat each other equally and with love and hugs.  Specifically breaking down motorist and cyclist in this highway code increases the division between choice of transport and increases the conflict between the mindset of road users, ultimately leading to more conflict and less love and hugs.

Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #5 on: 30 July, 2021, 05:03:33 pm »
It would be nice if we were all equal on the road. But we not. As Chris Boardman says in the video below, in practice "priority goes to the most threatening".

The changes afoot with the HC are to try to simplify things and to recognise an underlying principle – those with the greatest capacity for harm have the greatest responsibility to avoid doing harm. That seems reasonable to me. The HC was always about signalling priorities rather than defining the law, so the wording in it does have an effect.

The video from Boardman does a good job of explaining why this is necessary and desirable. And the HC changes are thankfully moving us in the right direction.

https://youtu.be/qhBdgOUhoGc

Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #6 on: 30 July, 2021, 05:17:13 pm »

I won't open that link either as Mr Boardman's frequent tellybox appearances advocating needs for cycle paths to get us off the road has lost much of my respect for what he achieved as a professional cyclist.

as for
"priority goes to the most threatening".
it reminds me of a commute home many years ago when a driver tried to push me off a roundabout.   One of us ended up in the central reservation and the other one cycled home unscathed and quite happy.

It's all about being kind and considerate to each other, and not being scared to go about our journey within the rights we have.    I do not condone the idiocy of drivers breaking the basic rules, nor cyclists who likewise do similar; especially red light jumping or pavement riding*.



*That said, I forced my daughter to ride on the pavement the other day as I was walking with her younger brother and I wasn't happy for her to ride off mixing with traffic.  As she's eight I think that was ok.  Had it been just the two of us where I could have kept up then she'd have been in the road, both of us without lycra or the H word.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #7 on: 30 July, 2021, 05:24:50 pm »
as for
"priority goes to the most threatening".
it reminds me of a commute home many years ago when a driver tried to push me off a roundabout.   One of us ended up in the central reservation and the other one cycled home unscathed and quite happy.

It's all about being kind and considerate to each other, and not being scared to go about our journey within the rights we have.   
So did you give the driver a hug after their crash and reassure them that you would continue to treat them with love?
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #8 on: 30 July, 2021, 05:28:05 pm »
You may be pleasantly surprised if you watch that video; no mention of getting people onto cycle paths. It is just about the benefits of a simple universal rule that says priority should be given to those moving straight on at junctions (a privilege largely given to motor traffic at the moment at the expense of more vulnerable road users). The only mention of cycle paths are about their current inadequacy.

Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #9 on: 30 July, 2021, 05:34:50 pm »
You may be pleasantly surprised if you watch that video; no mention of getting people onto cycle paths. It is just about the benefits of a simple universal rule that says priority should be given to those moving straight on at junctions (a privilege largely given to motor traffic at the moment at the expense of more vulnerable road users). The only mention of cycle paths are about their current inadequacy.

But that simple universal rule is already the case?  If I'm at a junction then the give way lines denote the priority, a double white dashed line for traffic to give way form and a single dashed line for traffic to yield (e.g. for pedestrians crossing).   

If no lines and thus moving straight ahead then it doesn't matter whether I am in the car/motorbike/bicycle/jogging.

If there are lines then I'm on a side road and need to give way to the main road; again no difference whether I am in the car/motorbike/bicycle/jogging.

Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #10 on: 30 July, 2021, 05:43:42 pm »
As I said, the HC is not about making new laws. It's about how they are communicated. The changes in part try to simplify that communication.

It's also not just about the status of any white lines on the road. It is about reducing the chances of being left/right hooked by car drivers before they cross those lines. An explicit statement of the new (actually 90 years old) road hierarchy is part of that process.

Anyway, actually reading the HC consultation document, or even spending two minutes watching that video will probably explain things better than I can.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #11 on: 30 July, 2021, 05:49:26 pm »
You may be pleasantly surprised if you watch that video; no mention of getting people onto cycle paths. It is just about the benefits of a simple universal rule that says priority should be given to those moving straight on at junctions (a privilege largely given to motor traffic at the moment at the expense of more vulnerable road users). The only mention of cycle paths are about their current inadequacy.

But that simple universal rule is already the case?  If I'm at a junction then the give way lines denote the priority, a double white dashed line for traffic to give way form and a single dashed line for traffic to yield (e.g. for pedestrians crossing).   

If no lines and thus moving straight ahead then it doesn't matter whether I am in the car/motorbike/bicycle/jogging.

If there are lines then I'm on a side road and need to give way to the main road; again no difference whether I am in the car/motorbike/bicycle/jogging.
It's not (I think) about crossroads or give way lines. It hasn't been at all well communicated so it does sound like it is, but I think it actually refers to left-hook situations and turning into side roads. So if a driver is turning left into a side road and they have overtaken a cyclist who is going straight on, they should – under the new rule – give priority to the straight-on proceeding cyclist. At present that wouldn't necessarily be the case; the turning driver, being in front, would be assumed to have priority. Similarly if there is a pavement or roadside cycle lane, turning traffic will have to give way to traffic on that lane. And most importantly, it might even apply to pedestrians crossing side roads. All this applies equally when turning right of course.

Though there's plenty of time for it to be watered down to traffic homeopathy before anything gets done.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #12 on: 30 July, 2021, 05:51:02 pm »
As I said, the HC is not about making new laws. It's about how they are communicated. The changes in part try to simplify that communication.

Bearing in mind the rules for many years have been not to drive in a lane which is closed by a red X, and to drive on the left unless overtaking, and so many drivers ignore this to the extent that recently there has been a mass media campaign (ignored) to try to tell motorists who should have learned this as part of passing their test and obtaining their licence... how do you think that these changes (which have been on mainstream media today) will have any effect?

Sing along now...   "Go left................"

Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #13 on: 30 July, 2021, 06:01:07 pm »
.... but I think it actually refers to left-hook situations and turning into side roads. So if a driver is turning left into a side road and they have overtaken a cyclist who is going straight on, they should – under the new rule – give priority to the straight-on proceeding cyclist. At present that wouldn't necessarily be the case; the turning driver, being in front, would be assumed to have priority. Similarly if there is a pavement or roadside cycle lane, turning traffic will have to give way to traffic on that lane.
Just goes to demonstrate how bad cycle lanes are.   I remember being in Denmark where they already have this rule and the mayhem there was when a driver wanted to turn through the cycle lane but couldn't see in the blind spot and thus blocked the entire surrounding roads by having to stop and wait while all the cyclists undertook preventing them turning.

If there isn't a cycle lanes then I believe the current rules, and politeness, should stop the left hook situation. If there is a case of that then unlike Hamilton/Verstappen in the recent Formula 1 debacle there's usually the capability of the person in the right to back out and prevent a collision.


And most importantly, it might even apply to pedestrians crossing side roads.
Pedestrians crossing side roads already have priority.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #14 on: 30 July, 2021, 06:04:27 pm »
Pedestrians only have priority on a zebra crossing or similar. HC 170 says you ought to let pedestrians finish crossing if they're already crossing when you turn into a side road. It doesn't say you should stop to let them continue walking if they're still on the pavement and none of it has legal force. And even the proposed changes would only affect side roads; don't people ever want to walk across main roads?
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #15 on: 30 July, 2021, 06:09:00 pm »
I wonder whether it shows that our understanding of the underlying concepts is poor? A highway is, in the end, defined for people, not vehicles. Therefore, the custom that those going straight ahead have priority applies to all road users. Over the years, we have gradually developed footpaths/pavements (for pedestrians) and paths/lanes (for cyclists) but, in the absence of other factors, it's hard to see why using those would change the basic principle, because they remain part of the highway (otherwise, how could the Highway Code apply?)

So, the long-standing and widely-ignored rule that a pedestrian crossing a side-road has priority is because that pedestrian is a road user on the main highway. There's no special treatment; rather the reverse - the pedestrian is simply being treated in exactly the same way as if that pedestrian were driving, because the choice of vehicle has no bearing at all upon one's rights.

And hence the point that this is not a change in the law, but a change in the guidance to make the law clearer.

Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #16 on: 30 July, 2021, 06:12:30 pm »
Look at the markings on a standard junction.    Two dotted lines where vehicles have to give way - one for traffic the other for pedestrians.  Turning into that junction is a single dotted line which is give way to pedestrians when turning from the main road into the side road.

This is why joggers, in the main, don't look and just run across the road.  They have priority.  Of course I always look, but that's my safety check for my own sake.

When I walk into town there is a notorious crossroads, and it takes time to safely cross, but in the main we can as drivers respect the priority of the pedestrian.  The time taken is more about the pedestrian waiting to make sure that they have been seen.



When it comes to a pedestrian crossing the main road, then a gap needs to be waited for as it's the traffic on the main road that takes priority.    Unless of course you are in rural France where everything was back to front for a bit before being corrected, hence all the junctions now having a sign saying "you do not have priority".

Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #17 on: 30 July, 2021, 06:19:14 pm »
Look at the markings on a standard junction.    Two dotted lines where vehicles have to give way - one for traffic the other for pedestrians.  Turning into that junction is a single dotted line which is give way to pedestrians when turning from the main road into the side road.
That's not a reason for the lines that I had come across, but it makes sense. Is it documented anywhere?

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #18 on: 30 July, 2021, 06:28:26 pm »
https://www.highwaycodeuk.co.uk/road-junctions.html
Quote
watch out for pedestrians crossing a road into which you are turning. If they have started to cross they have priority, so give way
If they haven't started to cross, they don't have priority.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #19 on: 30 July, 2021, 06:54:36 pm »
That's one of the points addressed in Chris Boardman's video. And I'm not sure whether it reflects the law, or custom and practice. I can't see why a pedestrian proceeding forward along the highway would need to step onto a different part of the highway in order to claim priority. I don't know how much of this stuff is set out in statute and how much is from how things have always been done.

Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #20 on: 30 July, 2021, 07:04:37 pm »
If you’re walking along a pavement and happen upon a side street, you are currently required to do a 180 degree shoulder check and have no priority until you step into the road. If you step off the kerb after the driver has started to turn they may be able to hit you with impunity. They certainly have no obligation to observe that you are intending to cross and give way proactively.

You also have zero priority over traffic coming out of the side street that wants to cross your path.

Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #21 on: 30 July, 2021, 07:04:46 pm »
Look at the markings on a standard junction.    Two dotted lines where vehicles have to give way - one for traffic the other for pedestrians.  Turning into that junction is a single dotted line which is give way to pedestrians when turning from the main road into the side road.
That's not a reason for the lines that I had come across, but it makes sense. Is it documented anywhere?

I believe it was in the highway code when I passed my driving test many years ago. 

Some years later, and still many years ago, when I did the test again to get my motorbike licence the instructor tested me (in private land and with cones representing a junction) by stepping out in front of me as a pedestrian and because I stopped to give way to him as a pedestrian he passed me as safe to go out on the roads to do the training for real.

The highway code has been updated since then, and although quickly looking online I can't can't find a reference and everything seems more complex than it used to be.  Same basic principle but more words to try to explain it which confusicates things.   I'd hate to take the test again today.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #22 on: 30 July, 2021, 07:06:41 pm »
I recall that in New Zealand in the 90s they had a law that traffic turning left into a side road had to give way to traffic turning right into the same side road. The idea was so that no one would have to wait in the middle of the road too long. Unambiguous, but an added complexity, which is why I think they've scrapped it. (I'm not sure how if at all it altered things for pedestrians.)
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #23 on: 30 July, 2021, 07:12:22 pm »
That's one of the points addressed in Chris Boardman's video. And I'm not sure whether it reflects the law, or custom and practice. I can't see why a pedestrian proceeding forward along the highway would need to step onto a different part of the highway in order to claim priority. I don't know how much of this stuff is set out in statute and how much is from how things have always been done.

It's one of, in my personal opinion, the lack of knowledge amongst people.  I recall decades ago at school where they said that if you wanted to cross at a zebra crossing you had to have a foot on it in order to claim the rights for traffic to stop.

I've seen that same logic in Europe where I've applied the UK logic to zebra crossings and waited for ages for traffic not to stop before pushing the (empty) pushchair out into the traffic and laughing at the burning rubber and nearly crunching metal as the cars all try to avoid me and each other.  At least in the UK drivers do tend to stop at a zebra crossing to allow people to cross the road.

When it comes to crossing a main road, I see it that the road has priority but a pedestrian can cross if there is space.  A zebra crossing gives the pedestrian more rights, but it is a choice at the time for everybody to make sure it is safe and to be good to each other.  A Pelican crossing is better for the pedestrian, but thank goodness we don't have jaywalking laws in the UK and have to wait for the lights to go red before we are allowed to cross.

Re: Highway code review consultation - deadline 27th October 2020
« Reply #24 on: 30 July, 2021, 09:07:14 pm »
UK Zebra Crossings confer no rights until you step off the pavement according to the Highway Code. I know in practice most drivers will identify people wanting to cross, but that's not what the book says.