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Highway Code changes

24 October 2018

Story from Road Safety GB.

The new Highway Code will highlight how to avoid the dangers of close passing a cyclist, and encourage people to adopt the ‘Dutch reach’, a method of opening a car door with the hand furthest from the handle, to force drivers to look over their shoulder for cyclists and other passing traffic.

Cycling and walking are increasingly being understood as crucial parts of an integrated approach to issues of health, obesity, air quality and town and city planning. Jesse Norman, the minister for cycling and walking said:

“But this will only happen if people feel safe on the roads. These measures are part of a steady process of improvement and reform designed to achieve just that.”

“These measures are part of a steady process of improvement and reform designed to achieve just that.”

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK, said, “Close overtakes and people opening car doors in front of cyclists are not only dangerous, they also put people off riding a bike.

“That’s why Cycling UK has been campaigning for changes to the Highway Code rules for many years, to make the requirements to give enough space when overtaking a cyclist, wait if you can’t, and look before you open your car door crystal clear.

“We’re delighted the Government has listened and we hope to contribute to the discussions regarding the amendments required to prioritise the safety of cyclists and other vulnerable road users.”

Describing the Highway Code changes as a ‘major victory’, Joe Irvin, chief executive of Living Streets, said: “When we walk our streets, we should not have to feel endangered by traffic.

“People walking and cycling do not cause road danger, congestion or toxic air levels, and yet they’re the ones who too often pay the price on our roads. Last year, there was a 5% rise in pedestrian fatalities – this cannot continue.”

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