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What do you guys make of the new rules.

From what I have read they mostly seem sensible enough, what any good driver should be doing anyway, what was called roadcraft when I had my driving lessons many moons ago. However the one that bothers me is giving way to a pedestrian if you are turning left into a side road, we have all experienced i'm sure other cars approach from behind at a rate of knots when we are turning left, suddenly stopping half way through a turn manoeuvre is inviting a shunt up the rear in fast moving traffic, potentially injuring the pedestrian as well, many of those pedestrians, particularly those with a mobile welded to their face, seem to have a death wish anyway, stepping of the pavement without a glance.

I know the vehicle approaching from the rear should be driving in a manner such that they can stop safely but my bet is we will see an increase in this type of accident.

Bill D.

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I'm actually more concerned that cyclists on separated cycle lanes which run across side roads will simply not stop and end up under other vehicles. At least they will have the satisfaction of knowing,  while lying in their hospital bed, that "they were in the right".

The only rule needed is "look after your own safety and that of other road users". This is, after all, pretty much what the HSE recommend for workplaces.

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I think news made huge deal of the new rules, but after reading them I was not moved at all. In fact I always thought that was always the case (probably incorrectly), it may have not been a law, but best practice at least.

I always thought that pedestrians crossing the side road have a right of way. Not cyclists thought - they should not be using pavement anyway.

Where there are cycle lanes it was always an issue and now it just seems it was legalised. I put it down with the issue of infrastructure design rather than highway code. One should never design the road with conflicting priorities, but cycle lanes are exactly that - so issue here is not who has priority, but that direction clashes. 

I feel that any sane person can see issue with below sign:

image.png.64c92e3f746140b9900b1de5b9852f09.png

But that is effectively how every road with cycle lane now looks. 

Getting hit from behind should not be an issue - if you indicate in advance and slow down before the turn as you should, then it only becomes an issue of keeping the distance. That said discipline on the road is very poor in UK and people see indicating almost as optional, so in practice I can see this becoming an issue. 

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20 hours ago, Herbie said:

I agree entirely Bill and I'm sure it'll happen very soon after it becomes law.

It's not law Herbs only advisory although if you are involved in a fracas it would weigh heavily against you. And I don't think enough has been thought through on some possible implications. For example, with this concept of a hierarchy of road users in principle a pedestrian could choose to cross the road at a roundabout (since it is a junction) and you are required to stop or denounced as being in flagrante, and we all know how difficult it is to stop in those circumstances 😉

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21 hours ago, Herbie said:

I agree entirely Bill and I'm sure it'll happen very soon after it becomes law.

I agree entirely with you both. How many pedestrians are going to die, and how many accidents will happen before someone realises that it is an idiotic idea and puts things back to how they were. Pedestrians will believe they can cross wherever they want, when they want, with impunity. It is a recipe for disaster. 

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Yes - I agree as well. I would say particular rules which are being introduced are kind of irrelevant and some of them I was following as good practice anyway. But the idea of roads users hierarchy and prioritising the vulnerable is what is dangerous.  

They said that road rules are based on "mutual" respect as a core principal, but that is clearly not possible when some are more "equal" then others. The whole thing with road users "hierarchy" undermines key principals of trust and respect. 

It is really worrying that instead of teaching people about "dangers" on the road, we going to teach them instead about their "rights" without asking them to understand basic risks. It won't help knowing "your were right", when you step in front of 2 tons of steel travelling at 30MPH...

Besides I think "vulnerability" based hierarchy, rather than "competence" based hierarchy is fundamentally wrong. This means that somebody without any clue how roads works and without knowledge of the rules (cyclists and pedestrians don't need to know them) will get right of way... just because they don't know better and couldn't care to find out. So "it is a recipe for disaster" indeed. 

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31 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

Yes - I agree as well. I would say particular rules which are being introduced are kind of irrelevant and some of them I was following as good practice anyway. But the idea of roads users hierarchy and prioritising the vulnerable is what is dangerous.  

They said that road rules are based on "mutual" respect as a core principal, but that is clearly not possible when some are more "equal" then others. The whole thing with road users "hierarchy" undermines key principals of trust and respect. 

It is really worrying that instead of teaching people about "dangers" on the road, we going to teach them instead about their "rights" without asking them to understand basic risks. It won't help knowing "your were right", when you step in front of 2 tons of steel travelling at 30MPH...

Besides I think "vulnerability" based hierarchy, rather than "competence" based hierarchy is fundamentally wrong. This means that somebody without any clue how roads works and without knowledge of the rules (cyclists and pedestrians don't need to know them) will get right of way... just because they don't know better and couldn't care to find out. So "it is a recipe for disaster" indeed. 

Spot on. Rights without responsibility.

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For years we got told "stop. look and listen before you cross the street" and the Green Cross man told us to stop at the kerb. This has seemingly now been thrown out in this latest guidance. 

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34 minutes ago, malcolmw said:

For years we got told "stop. look and listen before you cross the street" and the Green Cross man told us to stop at the kerb. This has seemingly now been thrown out in this latest guidance. 

I guess the onus has been put on the motorist now as well as the pedestrian (but I would still keep that  green cross advice for kids).  When turning into a side road slow, observe and give way to pedestrians or cyclists (if shared path) who wish to cross the street (my words btw), it doesn't seem that difficult. The suggestion further up the page that people might be flinging themselves like lemmings in front of traffic is a little far fetched .I mean who crosses at a zebra crossing for example without actually double checking that cars have actually stopped, you simply cannot just walk into a road under most circumstances.

The new advice for pedestrians

When you are crossing or waiting to cross the road, other traffic should give way. Look out for traffic turning into the road, especially from behind you, and cross at a place where drivers can see you. If you have started crossing and traffic wants to turn into the road, you have priority and they should give way (see Rules H2 and 170).

Pedestrians have always had priority once they've started to cross a road, yet its amazing how many drivers have absolutely no idea of this.

People simply don't like change yet this principle works very well in other countries. As a pedestrian its quite refreshing.

Here's an excellent piece from the Guardian and I like this part : Many changes just formalise basic courtesy

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/jan/24/common-myths-about-what-uk-highway-code-changes-will-mean

 

 

 

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35 minutes ago, malcolmw said:

For years we got told "stop. look and listen before you cross the street" and the Green Cross man told us to stop at the kerb. This has seemingly now been thrown out in this latest guidance. 

Dave Prowse will be spinning in his grave, mark my words!

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It is not unheard of, people stepping off the pavement without looking and it seems the norm for cyclists to pull out of a side road without so much as a glance because they were a very narrow vehicle and it did not matter, well we all know it does matter when you are welll over to the left to allow a big truck room to pass in the opposite direction.  I'm not anti cyclist, I used to do a bit myself and one of my sons is a very keen cyclist so I am always extra careful in giving cyclists plenty of room but they, together with pedestrians have to play their part as well.

The overall problem however is the increasingly poor standard of road use, drivers, cyclists, pedestrians. Motorcyclists generally I find ok, an experienced one will have a heightened sense of survival perhaps. 

Bill D.

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2 hours ago, Bill Dawes said:

It is not unheard of, people stepping off the pavement without looking and it seems the norm for cyclists to pull out of a side road without so much as a glance because they were a very narrow vehicle and it did not matter, well we all know it does matter when you are welll over to the left to allow a big truck room to pass in the opposite direction.  I'm not anti cyclist, I used to do a bit myself and one of my sons is a very keen cyclist so I am always extra careful in giving cyclists plenty of room but they, together with pedestrians have to play their part as well.

The overall problem however is the increasingly poor standard of road use, drivers, cyclists, pedestrians. Motorcyclists generally I find ok, an experienced one will have a heightened sense of survival perhaps. 

Bill D.

In Spain Bill, Pedestrians step  into the road ALWAYS without looking AND NEVER ACKNOWLEDGE traffic which sometimes perform miracles to avoid hitting them. As a visitor one has to live with it.

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33 minutes ago, royoftherovers said:

In Spain Bill, Pedestrians step  into the road ALWAYS without looking AND NEVER ACKNOWLEDGE traffic which sometimes perform miracles to avoid hitting them. As a visitor one has to live with it.

That may be true, but is it actually good thing?

In the country I grew-up there is actual law that before crossing the road pedestrian MUST look both ways and make sure it is safe to cross. Sadly it is almost never enforced and from driver perspective it is very hard to prove either way. It is as well in highway code (only SHOULD - meaning it is mere guidance and not the law), but it is even less enforced here, and definitely almost never followed. I wish it would be fully enforced as it would make it better for everyone, but it is what it is. What I find wrong with current proposals is that personal responsibility is transferred to others i.e. it implies pedestrians don't need to care, drivers needs to care for them and I feel it lacks justification, that you drive the car doesn't make you babysitter of every fool who can't bother to care themselves.

I always treated traffic on the road with respect, both from driver and pedestrian perspective. I even specifically wait few metres away from pedestrian crossing if I can see there is only one car on the road or there is gap behind the column of the cars - specifically so that drivers don't stop for me. I consider that mutual benefit for the society, because dozen cars stopping every time single pedestrian crosses the street is just not efficient. In short for one pedestrian to wait 10s is less inconvenience than for dozen cars to stop for 5s.

Same goes when I am driving - if I have to stop behind red line, then I will leave the gap for the side road to join, but if it is green then I won't let the car to join. This is simple matter of mathematical efficiency. Whilst I have stopped anyway car joining the traffic delays me by length of single car, but at the same time there is one less car waiting to join the traffic - so there is no detriment. If at the same time another 3 cars crosses the gap either way, then there is actual benefit. However, other drivers are being overly friendly and inefficient - they stop to let other cars to join during green light, interrupts "green wave" and by the time other car joins and get's up to speed, 8 less cars actually passes thought the light - so that is overall detriment and makes traffic worse.

In short - I look at it for perspective of who loses the least amount effort, time, resources, energy and causes least pollution to complete certain action and then prioritise the actions on this basis. It is almost always the case that single pedestrian waiting extra 10s by the side of the road is better for society overall, than 10 cars stopping for 5s. On individual level the impact is tiny, but when we look to the society overall, all the cars, pedestrians, cyclists across the world, then it creates huge difference. Efficiently and safety is more important than convenience, and inconveniencing one pedestrian is better than inconveniencing dozen cars. Finally, personal responsibility is key - starting from being responsible and caring yourself, before demanding the same from others (just to be clear I mean it in generally, not implying you are not caring/responsible).

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31 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

That may be true, but is it actually good thing?

In the country I grew-up there is actual law that before crossing the road pedestrian MUST look both ways and make sure it is safe to cross. Sadly it is almost never enforced and from driver perspective it is very hard to prove either way. It is as well in highway code (only SHOULD - meaning it is mere guidance and not the law), but it is even less enforced here, and definitely almost never followed. I wish it would be fully enforced as it would make it better for everyone, but it is what it is. What I find wrong with current proposals is that personal responsibility is transferred to others i.e. it implies pedestrians don't need to care, drivers needs to care for them and I feel it lacks justification, that you drive the car doesn't make you babysitter of every fool who can't bother to care themselves.

I always treated traffic on the road with respect, both from driver and pedestrian perspective. I even specifically wait few metres away from pedestrian crossing if I can see there is only one car on the road or there is gap behind the column of the cars - specifically so that drivers don't stop for me. I consider that mutual benefit for the society, because dozen cars stopping every time single pedestrian crosses the street is just not efficient. In short for one pedestrian to wait 10s is less inconvenience than for dozen cars to stop for 5s.

Same goes when I am driving - if I have to stop behind red line, then I will leave the gap for the side road to join, but if it is green then I won't let the car to join. This is simple matter of mathematical efficiency. Whilst I have stopped anyway car joining the traffic delays me by length of single car, but at the same time there is one less car waiting to join the traffic - so there is no detriment. If at the same time another 3 cars crosses the gap either way, then there is actual benefit. However, other drivers are being overly friendly and inefficient - they stop to let other cars to join during green light, interrupts "green wave" and by the time other car joins and get's up to speed, 8 less cars actually passes thought the light - so that is overall detriment and makes traffic worse.

In short - I look at it for perspective of who loses the least amount effort, time, resources, energy and causes least pollution to complete certain action and then prioritise the actions on this basis. It is almost always the case that single pedestrian waiting extra 10s by the side of the road is better for society overall, than 10 cars stopping for 5s. On individual level the impact is tiny, but when we look to the society overall, all the cars, pedestrians, cyclists across the world, then it creates huge difference. Efficiently and safety is more important than convenience, and inconveniencing one pedestrian is better than inconveniencing dozen cars. Finally, personal responsibility is key - starting from being responsible and caring yourself, before demanding the same from others (just to be clear I mean it in generally, not implying you are not caring/responsible).

You are quite right Linas, old pal.

It is not a good thing to abdicate personal responsibility, but cultures are different. Countries are different and will remain so,(hopefully).

What seems to work for the Spanish Pedestrian goes against everything that is ingrained within a  UK road user . 

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16 minutes ago, royoftherovers said:

Countries are different and will remain so,(hopefully).

I hope so as well, I just think that current trends when it comes to various rules works in a way to erode the culture of responsibility, at least for certain road users. And as well it is predicated on very weak justification - "vulnerability". Not only it is incompetent, but as well counter intuitive - if I put myself in the shoes of somebody vulnerable I would like to be as responsible and careful myself first, because that is in my own interest. Giving false expectations for "vulnerable" users, so that they put themselves in more risk sounds like few members already said - "recipe for disaster". 

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23 hours ago, doog442 said:

When you are crossing or waiting to cross the road, other traffic should give way. Look out for traffic turning into the road, especially from behind you, and cross at a place where drivers can see you. If you have started crossing and traffic wants to turn into the road, you have priority and they should give way (see Rules H2 and 170).

This is the worrying part - as you say if a pedestrian is already crossing a road and a car comes across them in the road the car has always had to give way - but a pedestrian waiting to cross a road? If every car stops for every pedestrian waiting to cross a road in a busy area the traffic will simply come to a standstill. And isn't that what zebra and pedestrian crossings are for so that cars and pedestrians have safe and equal opportunity to go about their journeys - this change surely negates the need for any zebra or pedestrian crossings as pedestrians can simply now stand at the side of the road and any car should now stop and let them cross - and if the pedestrian decides that is their right to cross (as the cars aren't stopping to let them cross) they can simply walk into the road into moving traffic and it's the car that is at fault...!

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Just now, Hamish2015 said:

I suspect my newly fitted dashcam might be handy at some point!!

Isn't a dash cam more likely to incriminate you though with these changes. If the pedestrian now decides to step off the pavement into the road and you hit them then these changes appear to mean that you should have stopped first to let them cross as you should have seen them at the side of the road waiting to cross and stopped before they stepped off into the road. The dash cam will be witness to that whereas previously it would have been witness to a pedestrian stepping out into the road when you were passing thereby putting the pedestrian at fault as they should have waited until you had passed before crossing?

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For the pedestrian stepping into the road, being "right" is of little comfort when they are lying in a hospital bed with a broken leg, or worse. Conversely I would rather stop and not damage my car by testing the pop up hood.

Everyone needs to take care of each other and drive responsibly.

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4 minutes ago, PaulWhitt20 said:

For the pedestrian stepping into the road, being "right" is of little comfort when they are lying in a hospital bed with a broken leg, or worse. Conversely I would rather stop and not damage my car by testing the pop up hood.

Everyone needs to take care of each other and drive responsibly.

Even Pedestrians must exercise due care and attention. A pedestrian waiting at a designated crossing is. A Pedestrian waiting at a busy point in the road within sight of a recognised crossing is not.

Let`s organise an Official Petition to sack the person(s) who advocated the introduction of a vulnerability hierarchy of road users?

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13 minutes ago, PaulWhitt20 said:

For the pedestrian stepping into the road, being "right" is of little comfort when they are lying in a hospital bed with a broken leg, or worse. Conversely I would rather stop and not damage my car by testing the pop up hood.

Everyone needs to take care of each other and drive responsibly.

Agreed but it happens every day of the week - people not paying attention to the traffic and stepping from the footpath into the road and into the path of oncoming cars (that can't stop in time) - at the moment the driver is not held at fault (assuming they are driving legally) if a pedestrian walks into the road in this manner. However, with the latest changes as far as I can see the driver will now be held at fault as they should have seen the pedestrian at the side of the road and assumed they may want to cross and so should have stopped for them to cross and so if that pedestrian (aimlessly) walks into the road it is now the driver that is at fault. Or am I missing something with these changes. 

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And furthermore the situation with bikes is now that if you are indicating to turn (left or right) into a junction and a bike comes up your inside or outside (and they often ride at speed in towns and cities) the driver is at fault even if they are indicating to turn and the bike runs into them as they make that turn whereas the sensible thing is that if a driver is indicating and a bike comes up behind them it should wait for the car to make the turn it is indicating to do. Expecting a driver to watch both ahead for traffic to turn across and behind through mirrors at the same time for fast moving bikes when indicating their intention is just plain lunacy - the bike brigade with their head cams are going to have a field day!

Highway code - info

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22 minutes ago, wharfhouse said:

And furthermore the situation with bikes is now that if you are indicating to turn (left or right) into a junction and a bike comes up your inside or outside (and they often ride at speed in towns and cities) the driver is at fault even if they are indicating to turn and the bike runs into them as they make that turn whereas the sensible thing is that if a driver is indicating and a bike comes up behind them it should wait for the car to make the turn it is indicating to do. Expecting a driver to watch both ahead for traffic to turn across and behind through mirrors at the same time for fast moving bikes when indicating their intention is just plain lunacy - the bike brigade with their head cams are going to have a field day!

Highway code - info

I agree entirely Phil, especially the headcam piece. But looking ahead I am intrigued by the consequences of such poorly thought through advice. For example if there is a big increase in accidents at say left turns what can, in truth, the authorities do about it? Yes, drivers will suffer some transitionary penalties but ultimately it won't solve the problem. Britain has some of the safest road users in the entire world and the pursuit of zero casualties is as likely as zero covid 

 

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We should not confuse the two things - if you already driving on the road and pedestrian walk into it, then you can't be at fault for hitting pedestrian. However, if pedestrian started to cross the road before you turned into that road, then they have right to complete crossing it. This has always been the case. 

I have issue with some language which now makes it more confusing (despite vegetables at Guardian stating it clarifies something) - for example what exactly means "waiting to cross the road"? 

As well I have issue with statement - "More widely, the updated Highway Code sets out the “hierarchy of road users”, making the uncontroversial point that quicker and/or heavier modes of travel should be especially careful for those who are more vulnerable". The word "hierarchy" implies that not everyone are held to same standard and inevitable there could be no respect nor trust between different users if some are more equal than others. More vulnerable are the one who should be ultimately more careful and don't make themselves even more vulnerable.

If we say pedestrians are vulnerable, then good advise would be for them to cross the road where it is safest - that is over/underground crossings, or at least places which are well lit and only after making sure it is safe to do so. Just making drivers more afraid that somebody jumps out of the bush in the dark helps nobody. Same for cyclists - if they are so vulnerable then maybe advise should be - "use dedicated cycling lanes where possible", "use high visibility clothes", "don't undertake/overtake turning cars" etc. Instead of saying - when you feel unsafe, take the middle of the lane or cycle two abreast. This is just counter intuitive - makes yourself more of inconvenience, to make yourself more visible. How about - don't be inconvenience in the first place? 

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