5 Things to Know About the New Highway Code for Cyclists
As of January 29th, 2022, the Highway Code has been updated with changes that affect cyclists. This has caused a lot of uproar among the public, with many people basing their opinions on biased and incorrect news sources.
To help clear this out, here are some things you need to know about the new and improved Highway Code and how it can impact you.
1) Preventing Middle of the Road Cycling
There was a massively publicised misconception that the new rules of the road encourage middle-of-the-road cycling. However, the rules haven't changed, and cycling in the middle of the road is still not something that the Highway Code encourages.
The new edition of the Highway Code has several changes which are specifically aimed at improving safety for cyclists, as well as regulating them in a way that keeps them out of the way of other motorists, minimising the risk of being involved in an accident.
2) Emphasising Rider Distance
The new edition of the Highway Code makes it clear that it is a cyclist's responsibility to be far enough behind the vehicle in front of them so that they can react in case of a hazard.
This is much clearer than the old rule, which simply stated that a cyclist should leave enough space for a vehicle to stop.
3) Slowing Down for Pedestrians and Horses
Cyclists are advised to give way to pedestrians who are also travelling along a pavement or footpath, in order to slow down and avoid accidents.
By doing so, cyclists can help to create a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone using the pavement or footpath. Additionally, cyclists should be extra cautious when passing pedestrians, as they may not be expecting a bicycle to come by.
4) Advice for Cycle Lanes
When using a cycle lane, cyclists must stay in the cycle lane except in limited circumstances. The new rules give clarification as to what these circumstances are, and cyclists should be very aware of them before they choose to ride in the cycle lane.
For example, a cyclist can leave the cycle lane if traffic is heavy, or if they are getting overtaken by another vehicle. It is also possible to leave the cycle lane if there is a danger of a collision, or if there is a risk of the rider being seriously injured.
5) Avoiding Parked Cars
The new rules make it clear that cyclists need to avoid being in the flow of traffic behind parked cars. This is because they are not visible to other vehicles, and they can be vulnerable to being hit by the vehicle in front of them if they are hit by the car in front.
Therefore, when a cyclist is moving in and out of traffic, they should make sure that they ride out of the flow of traffic next to parked cars whenever possible.
Cycling is a great way to save money on transportation, and it's also a good exercise. However, when done incorrectly, cycling is much riskier than it needs to be.
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