‘Nothing should have changed’: Driving habits to be the same after new Highway Code rules

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In January, a major overhaul of the Highway Code was made to introduce new recommendations for all road users. A “hierarchy of road users” was created, ensuring quicker or heavier modes of travel have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others on the road.

Motorists were urged to adhere to the new rules to keep themselves and others safe, especially when driving near smaller and slower road users.

Richard Gladman, Head of Driving Standards at IAM RoadSmart, analysed how driving habits would have been affected by the Highway Code changes.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, he said: “I’ve had some of our members who have been up in arms about the changes and question how this hierarchy is meant to work.

“But, as I explained to them, nothing should have really changed in your world, because you should have always been making these considerations.

“When you’re turning into a junction, you should always be expecting somebody to walk across the road.

“Common courtesy dictates that if nothing is going on behind you and there’s someone waiting across the road, you should just wait.

“Once they are across the road safely, their day goes on, your day goes on.

“Those things should always have been part of your mindset anyway.”

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Cyclists were given fresh guidance to ride in the centre of a lane on quieter roads, in slower-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions in order to make themselves as clearly visible as possible.

They were also reminded that they can ride two abreast, but must be aware of drivers behind them and allow them to overtake if it is safe to do so.

Mr Gladman continued, saying that steps were already being taken to take the Highway Code to a new level and make roads safer.

The Government’s announcement in April regarding the future of self-driving cars was met with differing opinions.

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Some were alarmed that drivers would be able to take their eyes off the road to “view content which is not related to driving on built-in display screens”.

However, many praised the move, saying it would make the UK a frontrunner for the new technology and help to make roads safer.

Mr Gladman added: “We’re basically future proofing the Highway Code.

“Everyones in a panic because they think we’re going from nothing to this.

“But in actual fact, the technology isn’t there yet, so when the tech is developed and signed off, we’ve already got everything in place to be used.

“As a bold statement, being able to do anything up to that speed is quite frightening.

“We’ve got some challenges to come in terms of that step to further autonomy in cars.”

Britain’s first vehicles approved for self-driving could be ready for use as soon as later this year.

Vehicles will undergo rigorous testing and only be approved as self-driving when they have met stringent standards.  

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