• Ellis Wood

New additioms to Highway Code

I heard recently that they are deciding whether to make an addition to the highway code whereby if you are turning into a side road and a pedestrian or cyclist is about to cross you MUST give way. Like a lot of people I have spoken to I teach my pupils to look into the road for pedestrians about to cross and when approaching take extra care to check mirrors for cyclists or stay behind a cyclist who is in front until they have passed the junction. I thought this was already a law but apparently not. Here is what the highway code says.

Rule 170: Take extra care at junctions. You should

  • watch out for cyclists, motorcyclists, powered wheelchairs/mobility scooters and pedestrians as they are not always easy to see. Be aware that they may not have seen or heard you if you are approaching from behind

  • watch out for pedestrians crossing a road into which you are turning. If they have started to cross they have priority, so give way

  • watch out for long vehicles which may be turning at a junction ahead; they may have to use the whole width of the road to make the turn (see Rule 221)

  • watch out for horse riders who may take a different line on the road from that which you would expect

  • not assume, when waiting at a junction, that a vehicle coming from the right and signalling left will actually turn. Wait and make sure

  • look all around before emerging. Do not cross or join a road until there is a gap large enough for you to do so safely.

So it seems this little bit of common sense we have been teaching is overkill at the moment and a few tests I have heard of that have failed (due to a pedestrian approaching the road junction and NOT actually started to cross) may actually be technically a pass.

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