GOSPORT MP, Dame Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed changes to the Highway Code that are set to better protect vulnerable road users; despite calling for these to be widely publicised so that road users across Gosport, Lee-on-the-Solent, Stubbington and Hill Head are fully aware of them and can travel with increased safety.
The Highway Code is a set of rules for road users in England, Scotland and Wales, and not complying to them can result in a criminal offence. In December 2021, the Government published proposed changes to the Highway Code which it said would improve safety for vulnerable road users, particularly cyclists, pedestrians, and horse riders.
Although the Department for Transport stated that a working group has been created to decide how the changes should be communicated to the public, the deadline is fast approaching and there has been very little published that outlines the changes clearly and concisely for road users.
Commenting on her website Caroline said: “I have been contacted by a number of concerned constituents asking for further clarification on these changes. Considering many people are already unsure of the nuances of The Highway Code and are unlikely to read it in full, it’s important that these changes are widely publicised prior to them coming into effect. This will ensure that everyone can safely use the roads and adhere to the rules.”
Some of the new provisions include creating a hierarchy of road users that will ensure those who can do the greatest harm (those driving large vehicles) have the greatest responsibility to reduce danger they pose to other road users. The Department for Transport has said that this system will pave the way for a ‘more mutually respectful and considerate culture of safe and effective road use’. Stronger priorities for pedestrians and cyclists at junctions and crossings are also being implemented.
The new rules are set to be implemented on January 29 and readers can digest the information via this Government link, outlining the details of all eight changes following a public consultation held in 2020.
PICTURED BY SHUTTERSTOCK IMAGERY: Road signs and symbols from the Highway Code