Road safety plans could cost lives, RHA warns

A new campaign calling for a ’universal’ rule to give way when turning could cost lives, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has warned.

British Cycling has joined forces with The AA and pedestrian groups in calling for the ’universal’ rule to give way when turning in order to create “simpler, safer junctions for all road users”.

While fully appreciating the concerns of the cycling lobby, the RHA said establishing a plan to improve safety for all road users can only be achieved by adopting a holistic approach that includes motorists, HGV operators, cyclists and pedestrians.

The RHA believes that there is little wrong with the Highway Code as it currently stands. The problem, it said, lies with the lack of compliance and enforcement.

The new proposal follows research conducted on behalf of British Cycling, based on existing models in place in countries such as Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden. In practice, the changes would see:

  • Drivers turning at a junction giving way to people cycling and walking who may be on your nearside, or crossing the road you wish to turn into.
  • Cyclists turning at a junction giving way to people walking who are crossing the road you wish to turn into.
  • Pedestrians getting increased protection when crossing a side road or other junction.

Chris Boardman, British Cycling’s policy adviser, said: “The proposals put forward by British Cycling and partner organisations would eliminate confusion, improve efficiency and reduce congestion, while giving cyclists and pedestrians greater protection – therefore encouraging more people to take up greener transport options and making our streets healthier.”

Edmund King, AA president, said: “It would be beneficial for all road users if the Highway Code simplified the rules at junctions where a disproportionate amount of injury crashes occur.”