New Highway Code
The Highway Code is a combination of legal requirements and advice. The latter can be used to determine liability in the event of a crash. The draft Highway Code replaced Rule 47 of the old code which said:
- Use cycle routes when practicable. They can make your journey safer.
- Use cycle routes when practicable and cycle facilities such as advanced stop lines, cycle boxes and toucan crossings where they are provided, as they can make your
CTC feared that this added wording would strengthen the argument that cycilsts should use cycle facilities. In our response to the consultation CTC objected to the wording.
Thousands of cyclists also sent responses to the Driving Standards Agency opposing the proposed wording.
In 2007 a new draft was laid before the Houses of Parliament for confirmation. By that stage the wording had changed only slightly, instead of 'where they are provided' it now recommended 'where possible'. This was still deemed to be an inappropriately strong wording.
CTC members wrote to their MPs to demand further changes to the wording and finally, in June 2007, a new Code presented which was deemed satisfactory.
The new rule that appears in the revised 2007 Highway Code is:
- Use cycle routes, advanced stop lines, cycle boxes and toucan crossings unless at the time it is unsafe to do so. Use of these facilities is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer.
The inclusion of the phrase 'use of these facilities is not compulsory' resolves many of the concerns of cyclists that they may be held liable if involved in a crash while using the road.
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