British Cycling has launched a petition for a change to the Highway Code that will protect walkers, cyclists and drivers.
The National governing body - joined by Chris Boardman and The AA - wants people to sign a petition asking that a universal rule be put in place that means all road users give way when turning left.
The rule change would give pedestrians greater safety, as well as reinforcing existing infrastructure such as Advance Stop Lines and advisory cycle lanes which place cyclists on the inside of turning traffic.
Currently, there is no clear rule that applies to cyclists, and drivers only have to give way to a pedestrian already crossing. With two thirds of all accidents happening at or around junctions, British Cycling (BC) the AA and Boardman all believe it’s time for change.
The Highway Code has not been fully refreshed for nine years and proposals have been made following in-depth research carried out on behalf of BC. The research suggested that the rule change could increase junction efficiency by 15 to 40 per cent, as well as improving safety.
The proposed rule change asks for:
- Drivers turning at a junction giving way to people cycling and walking who may be on your nearside, or crossing the road you wish to turn into.
- Cyclists turning at a junction giving way to people walking who are crossing the road you wish to turn into.
- Pedestrians getting increased protection when crossing a side road or other junction.
The petition went live yesterday, and already had well over 6,000 signatures at time of writing – over half the 10,000 being sought.
British Cycling’s policy adviser, Chris Boardman, commented on the rule change, saying: “Whether driving, cycling or walking, negotiating a junction is the most hazardous manoeuvre you can make on the road – this is evidenced by the fact that nearly two thirds of motor vehicle collisions take place at junctions.
"A change needs to be made – the rules need to be simple and unambiguous." - Chris Boardman
“There are at least 14 different rules in the Highway Code which relate to people walking and cycling at junctions, and it can be difficult for anyone to interpret what is the correct behaviour. A change needs to be made – the rules need to be simple and unambiguous.
“The proposals put forward by British Cycling and partner organisations would eliminate confusion, improve efficiency and reduce congestion, while giving cyclists and pedestrians greater protection – therefore encouraging more people to take up greener transport options and making our streets healthier."
Edmund King, AA president, said: “It would be beneficial for all road users if the Highway Code simplified the rules at junctions where a disproportionate amount of injury crashes occur."
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “As pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and motorists we all need to recognise that the road is a shared space which works best when we all respect each other.
“The clearer we can make the rules of the road the easier it is for us all to see what’s expected of us and to comply. The rules also need to be complemented with the right streetscape engineering, with markings, surfaces and road geometry all telling us the same story."
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