All entries for Friday 05 May 2006
May 05, 2006
Over 11,000 cyclists have complained about proposed changes to the Highway Code. In particular against a proposed addition which would tell cyclists to "use cycle facilities…..where provided".
If such an amendment were incorporated, insurance companies would use it to reduce the size of compensation given when motorists drive into cyclists who have chosen to use a road rather than a nearby cycle facility.
This is unjust. Parliament has decided that cyclists have the right to use all roads except those from which they are explicitly excluded (mostly motorways), the Department of Transport should not attempt to erode that right without due process. It's especially galling as some cycle facilities are more dangerous than the carriageway and many are more inconvenient.
The outrage generated by the proposal has lead to close scrutiny of the Highway Code's current text. The advice it gives to cyclists is simply not based on practical experience in the real world. It suggests that cyclists should follow a rigid and poorly informed set of rules irrespective of the consequences for their safety. On the other hand, some of the most important advice that can be given to cyclists, such as the importance of positioning and exercising care when using many cycle "facilities", is conspicuous by its absence.
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