Highway Code: Most drivers are confused by new driving laws and the priority cyclists have

Highway Code changes slammed by Steve McNamara

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More than 70 percent of drivers are confused with the new H3 rule, which states that drivers must give priority to a cyclist when they are turning into or out of a junction. Research has revealed that a significant proportion (73 percent) don’t think or are unsure if the recent Highway Code changes are improving road safety or protecting vulnerable road users.

More than half of those asked admitted they don’t feel or are not sure they understand them.

Jonathan White, Legal and Compliance Director at National Accident Helpline, commented on the findings, calling on drivers to refresh their knowledge of the new changes.

He said: “While we have always welcomed the Highway Code changes, we have also expressed our concern about insufficient public education and understanding around the changes.

“The data from our latest research reflects this.

“It’s concerning to see that so many road users believe the changes aren’t improving safety and still don’t know what changes have been made. 

“Some people even believe nothing has altered, so it’s understandable why many people would like to see a refresher driving test put in place.”

Data shows that while there is more awareness around the Highway Code changes, road users are still confused – with 34 percent admitting they find them too hard to follow.

In addition to this, 71 percent of the nation think cyclists have complete right of way – as opposed to priority – over cars on UK roads.

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Rule H3 states that drivers should not cut across cyclists, horse riders or horse drawn vehicles going ahead when the driver is turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane.

This is just as motorists would not turn across the path of another motor vehicle.

This applies whether they are using a cycle lane, a cycle track, or riding ahead on the road and the driver should give way to them.

Drivers should not turn at a junction if to do so would cause the cyclist, horse rider or horse drawn vehicle going straight ahead to stop or swerve.

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