One of the key barriers to people making the switch to sustainable active travel is safety. For many potential cyclists, having to share our roads with motor vehicles is enough of a deterrent to justify continued use of our cars. However, amendments to the Highway Code to be introduced towards the end of January should help to bring improvements to the safety of those using the roads.
One of the key changes to the highway code is the introduction of a hierarchy of road users, whereby those who pose a potential threat are responsible for looking out for the safety of road users that are placed at a greater level of vulnerability. For example, car drivers must take a higher level of responsibility to mitigate any safety issues towards cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders.
This has been introduced alongside several other measures to help aid the safe usage of our roads by all, including the 1.5 metre gap rule when passing alongside cyclists and the implementation of the ‘dutch reach technique’ which will improve safety of cyclists passing by parked cars, as the technique allows drivers to check for oncoming cyclists before exiting their vehicle.
It is hoped that by including these measures as law in the highway code it will help to further improve the safety for everyone using our road networks, and hopefully encourage people to take up methods of active travel as their primary travel method.