Survey finds widespread opposition to Highway Code changes

IAM Roadsmart has conducted a survey that has found there is largescale opposition to the proposed Highway Code changes

IAM Roadsmart has conducted a survey gauging public opinion on proposed Highway Code changes.

One of the proposed changes to the Highway Code that seems most far-reaching includes setting out a hierarchy of road users. It would mean that those most likely to do harm must take on the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others. On this front, the majority (56 percent) agree that this is the right way forward, but 26 percent are against and almost one in five (19 percent) are still to be convinced either way.

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Another change, although this gained less approval, is the proposal that pedestrians waiting to cross the road should have priority over road-users, effectively forcing vehicles to stop and allow them to cross. While that idea is all well and good in sleepy market towns – a totally different story in bigger towns and cities.

On this update, the survey found that 71 percent of respondents believe that giving priority to pedestrians and cyclists, when turning into and out of junctions, will increase conflict rather than reduce it.

The online survey also found that nearly three-quarters of respondents agree that it should be compulsory for cyclists to wear a crash helmet and that children should be allowed to cycle on pavements.

Neil Greig, Policy and Research Director at IAM RoadSmart, said:

“Regardless of what changes are introduced, it is clear there will be a need for a huge education campaign to ensure any amendments to the Highway Code are understood and fully adopted by the millions of existing UK drivers, motorcyclists and road users. At IAM RoadSmart we believe an online resource to help with this re-education in an engaging way would be helpful.

“The simple truth is that most of us don’t read the Highway Code unless we drive or ride professionally or are about to take a test. The Department for Transport needs to be realistic about the impact simply changing a seldom read document will have on the behaviour and safety of road users.”

To check out the results in more detail, head to: iamroadsmart.com

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