GMB: Mike Graham slams new Highway Code cyclist rules
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As 2023 gets underway, most drivers will be focusing on making resolutions to improve their wellbeing and lifestyle, but rarely focus on their motoring habits. However, the UK’s top road traffic lawyer, Nick Freeman, hopes motorists will seize the new year as a time to change bad driving habits.
Covering a range of bad driver habits, Nick says making resolutions such as remembering to indicate or not touching a mobile phone requires only small adjustments.
While some of the changes may seem inconsequential, the impact can be significant.
Mr Freeman, whose clients include Jeremy Clarkson, David Beckham and Frank Lampard, has devised a list of New Years’ motoring resolutions.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “We see the new year as a time to press the refresh button.
“But I’d like to see motorists pledge to make changes to their driving too. I drive up to 50,000 miles a year and see so much bad driving on our roads.
“Yet if motorists kicked bad habits they could make the roads safer for all users – and keep themselves out of trouble too.
“Unlike embarking on, say, an extensive weight loss programme or taking on a significant career change, my new year motoring resolutions require little effort.
“But dropping bad habits will hopefully make 2023 a safer driving experience for all of us.”
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Last year, countless driving law changes were introduced to make roads safer for drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and other road users.
One of the largest changes made came in January 2022, when one of the largest updates to the Highway Code was unveiled.
It was designed to enhance safety for everyone, particularly those most at risk through the creation of a “hierarchy of road users”.
This ensures that quicker or heavier modes of travel have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others on the road.
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Mr Freeman added: “Give cyclists more room than you think is necessary.
“Changes to Highway Code rules last year mean cars must now leave at least 1.5 metres of room when passing bicycles.
“And remember you cannot overtake a cyclist if it causes you to cross a continuous white line on the road.”
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 they can ride two abreast, as has always been the case and which can be safer in large groups or with children.
However, they must be aware of drivers behind them and allow them to overtake provided it is safe to do so.
Mr Freeman also urged drivers to maintain safe distances, and not tailgate or get too close to any cars in front of them – even if they are frustrated with the way the motorist is driving.
A good way of checking the distance is by counting a space of at least two seconds between them and the car in front.
With adverse weather conditions becoming more common, or on roads with high speed limits, the distance should be at a minimum, doubled.
Motorists should also keep a good space between them and any meandering vehicles, as the driver may not be concentrating on the road ahead.
Mr Freeman warned that the motorist would be charged with driving without due care and attention if they go into the back of their car.
He concluded, saying: “Give them a short, sharp beep on the horn to nudge them from their distraction.”
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