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Highway Code update to protect cyclists

The Government is to update the Highway Code with new guidance on how road users should behave in relation to cyclists and pedestrians.

Footage from a hemet camera of a door opening in the path of a cyclist

Footage from a helmet camera of a door opening in the path of a cyclist

The new Highway Code will highlight that drivers should give more room when overtaking cyclists, and encourage people to adopt the ‘Dutch reach’, a method of opening a car door with the hand furthest from the handle, to force drivers to look over their shoulder for passing traffic. Campaign group Cycling UK said last year that this method could help prevent a large number of cyclist injuries and fatalities each year.

The review follows the recent publication of road casualty figures showing that 101 cyclists died in 2017 in road traffic collisions, and was welcomed by motoring and safety groups including the RAC.

Head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “With increasing numbers of cyclists and drivers on our roads, it is important the road space is shared safely to prevent collisions, injuries and even fatalities. We support the introduction of the ‘Dutch reach’ principle to the Highway Code, a small change every motorist can make when exiting their vehicle that can make a huge difference to the safety of passing cyclists.

“There should be an expectation that all road users follow the laws of the road, but from a motorist’s point of view, giving extra space when overtaking, not blocking bike boxes at junctions and always checking mirrors for cyclists will go a long way in improving safety on our roads.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.