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G4EBT  > BIKES    23.09.08 17:28l 138 Lines 5679 Bytes #999 (0) @ WW
BID : C59143G4EBT
Subj: Changes to UK Highway Code
Sent: 080923/1025Z @:GB7FCR.#16.GBR.EU #:13595 [Blackpool] FBB-7.03a $:C59143G4

I mentioned in an earlier bull that in Sept 2007, as a result of lobbying
by the Cyclists' Touring Club, some 40 rule changes were made to the UK
Highway Code.

I doubt that many drivers or cyclists (often one and the same) are up to
date with these changes, which vary from the mundane to the fundamental.

There are many new rules for cyclists on the use of crossings and for
taking care around tramways. Others offer advice on whether cyclists
should use cycle facilities, which I mentioned earlier. (New Rule 61:
Cycle Facilities, and Rule 63: Cycle Lanes).

Updated cycling rules other than rules 61 and 63, are paraphrased below:

Rule 60 (old rule 46), formalises previous Government regulations
that allow flashing lights on cycles as legal when used alone.

[Flashing high brightness LED lights are considered more visible
that traditional bulbs].

Rule 77 (old rule 62) - this suggests that cyclists may find it just as
safe to ride around a roundabout as walk around it. Previously the rule
had assumed cyclists would walk round.

Rule 147 (old 125) - now includes a plea for drivers not to throw things
on the road because it potentially endangers other road-users, especially
cyclists and motorcyclists.

[they aren't supposed to throw things out, but it is now not
simply a litter offence, but a road traffic law violation]

Rule 151 (old 129) - in slow moving traffic..."be aware of cyclists and
motorcyclists who may be passing on either side" ... has been added.

Rule 156 (old 133) - Single-track roads... "slow down when passing
pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders" ... has been added.

Rule 167 (old 143) - Overtaking... Now includes "stay behind if you are
following a cyclist approaching a roundabout or junction, and you intend
to turn left."

Rule 181 (old 157) - "look out for cyclists when turning right in a

Rule 211 (old 187) -  "When turning right across a line of slow-moving or
stationary traffic, look out for cyclists or motorcyclists on the inside
of the traffic you are crossing. Be especially careful when turning, and
when changing direction or lane. Be sure to check mirrors and blind spots
carefully." has been added.

Rule 227 (old 202) - Driving in wet weather... "take extra care around
pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders" ... has been added.

Rules 281 - 287 (old 255 - 261) - he CTC argued successfully that
"accidents" be renamed "incidents".

Rule 288 (old 262) - Road works... Added: "take extra care near cyclists
and motorcyclists as they are vulnerable to skidding on grit, mud or other
debris at road works"

There is also a new paragraph on cycle training in the section entitled
"You and your bicycle".

The paper highway Code is 2.5GBP. The Online Highway Code if free here:

The Highway Code is just that - a code of good driving. It isn't in itself
the law, but breaches of the Highway Code are prosecuted under the various
Road Traffic Acts.

The penalties are nowhere near sufficient, and enforcement in minimal.

The use of hand-held mobile phones is still widespread and carries a fine
of only 60GBP (about $135 AUS) and 3 penalty points (if you tot up to 12
points you lose your licence for 6 months).

It's commonplace to see lorry drivers on mobile phones and in such
instances, if it's proved that the driver is doing this in the course
of his work, the firm should be prosecuted under the Health and Safety
at Work Act, and IMHO, be fined at least 5,000GBP.

That Act allows for such prosecutions - firms must have a safe working
practise. The Highway Code makes it clear that using a mobile is anything
but a safe practise.

If a driver is doing anything which - if they did it during their driving
test would cause them to fail, then they ought not to be doing it, and in
that, I'd include mobile amateur radio operating. Hands-free or not, it's
a needless and dangerous distraction.

There were 3,150 deaths on UK roads last year. Apart from something
unforeseen, like a driver having a heart attack at the wheel, most of
were entirely preventable.

In contrast, from March 2007-March 2008, there were 784 homicides in
the UK. Thus, you stand a four times greater chance of being killed by
a motorist than murdered.

If these figures were reversed it would be considered a national crisis,
as in evidenced by the media hype in the UK over teenage knife deaths,
largely a feature of a few inner cities, notably London.

Tragic indeed, but at 30 this year and rising, almost a non-event
statistically, given that there are about 12 million UK teenagers.

Similar picture or road deaths v homicides in Oz.

In 2007 the Oz murder rate was 1.2 victims per 100,000 persons, (down
from 1.4 in 2006). In contrast the road deaths rate was 8.0 per 100,000 -
almost seven times higher.

Again, if the number of road deaths and murders were reversed, wholesale
panic would set in. Once more, this stems from the belief that because
road deaths arise from negligence and accidents rather than a deliberate
intent to kill, so somehow, it's not so serious. It is for the victims.

In Oz, drivers account for some 45% of fatalities, passengers 24%,
pedestrians 15%, motorbikes 14% and cyclists 2%. Trucks are involved
in 17 % of road fatalities and in crashes involving trucks, 15% of those
killed are truck drivers. (Around 1% of fatalities involve buses).

Governments are soft on drivers because they have the vote.

Best wishes
David, G4EBT @ GB7FCR

Cottingham, East Yorkshire.

Message timed: 11:22 on 2008-Sep-23
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