Why have the Highway Code updates been made?
The new Highway Code rules have been brought in after lengthy discussions with more than 20,000 road users during 2020. The talks were part of a public consultation that set out to improve the road safety of pedestrians, cyclists and riders.
You can read the full report here, but it weighs in at a whopping 67 pages.
What do they mean for businesses that use vehicles and fleets?
The new rules around junctions will undoubtedly cause the most issues for drivers. It will slow journeys down, and you will need to be much more aware of pedestrians at junctions to ensure you stay within the guidelines.
More importantly, while the new Highway Code rules are intended to protect pedestrians, there’s a chance that in the short term at least, it could lead to more incidents. Drivers unaware of the changes may take less care with pedestrians walking out into busy roads, resulting in the chances of hitting pedestrians or collisions arising from drivers swerving to avoid oncoming walkers.
While the other Highway Code updates are less likely to lead to serious incidents, your drivers must be aware of and prepared for them.
What’s the reaction been like?
The chief concern relates to the rules on pedestrians crossing and cyclist road positions, which predictably hasn’t gone down well with drivers.
The AA’s president, Edmund King, voiced his concerns of increased collisions when speaking to the press association, echoed by Voters for Motors who spoke to MailOnline. The Express has reported that FairFuelUK Campaign, the Alliance of British Drivers and the Motorcycle Action Group have all written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps outlining their frustration with the changes.
Whether or not these voices will amount to any change in the rules remains to be seen. For now, we reiterate how important it is to ensure you and your drivers are aware of the impact of the rules.