The number of cyclists increases every summer but what are your road rights as a cyclist?
Recent changes to the Highway Code give cyclists priority over other vehicles. This includes motorcycles, cars, vans, and trucks.
Cyclists now have some protection on the roads and greater rights.
Road users who have a greater risk of injury now have priority on the roads. The hierarchy is as follows:
- Horse riders
- Large vehicles/trucks
WHAT HAS CHANGED?
Cycling charity, Cycling UK has campaigned over the years for a change to the law. Following the amendments to the Highway Code, cyclists now have extra rights which should improve safety.
Cycling UK has welcomed the amends to the Highway Code. However, it wants the government to communicate further with the public.
WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS?
Hierarchy of road users
Road users who can cause more harm have a greater responsibility on the roads. From pedestrians at the top down to large vehicles at the bottom.
Priority at junctions
Cyclists should give way to pedestrians waiting to cross a road at a junction. Or at a road crossing such as a zebra crossing.
Drivers should not cut across cyclists going ahead when they are turning into or out of a junction, changing direction, or lane. This applies whether the cyclist is using a cycle lane, track, or riding ahead on the road.
Drivers should leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking at speeds of up to 30mph. Giving more space at higher speeds.
Opening car doors
Drivers should use the ‘Dutch Reach’ when opening doors. Where possible they should open the door using their hand on the opposite side to the door they are opening.
Cyclists can ride two abreast but should be aware of drivers behind. Allow them to overtake when safe to do so. Cyclists should also ‘call out’ to alert others.
They should ride in the centre of their lane. Move to the left to allow vehicles to overtake, when safe to do so.
Cyclists have right of way on cycle lanes. However, they do not have to use cycle lanes or tracks and can choose to ride on the carriageway if they feel safer.
Crossing in front of drivers in slow-moving traffic
In slow-moving traffic, they can filter past traffic. Drivers should allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross in front of them.
If a driver has passed the first white line when a signal turns red, they should stop as soon as possible. Allowing cyclists, time and space to move off when the green signal shows.
They have priority over drivers at roundabouts.
Cycling UK has created a video explaining the key changes. You can find out more on their website: www.cyclinguk.org/highwaycode
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