Highway Code revisions: Consultation open until 27 October 2020

MikeF
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Location: On the borders of the four South East Counties

Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby MikeF » 2 Aug 2020, 8:06pm

I've just read through these proposed changes.
It seems to me many of the changes are being suggested by someone who's never ridden a bike on a road. eg "on quiet roads or streets – if a
faster vehicle comes up behind you, move to the left to enable them to overtake, if you can do so safely"
. That should not be necessary. Faster vehicles should be overtaking when it is safe to do so and not be squeezing past.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

MikeF
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Location: On the borders of the four South East Counties

Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby MikeF » 3 Aug 2020, 1:45pm

Impact Assessment
We have undertaken a De Minimis Assessment as the changes proposed are expected not to have a net cost to business of more than £5m per year. The Highway Code already exists and this review is an extension to the current legislation. The amendments are not expected to have any major challenges because the proposed changes should lead to improvements in road safety without disproportionally impacting on drivers.


Hmm! Impact on drivers is obvious more important than safety.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

ratherbeintobago
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Joined: 5 Dec 2010, 6:31pm

Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby ratherbeintobago » 3 Aug 2020, 6:16pm

MikeF wrote:Impact Assessment
We have undertaken a De Minimis Assessment as the changes proposed are expected not to have a net cost to business of more than £5m per year. The Highway Code already exists and this review is an extension to the current legislation. The amendments are not expected to have any major challenges because the proposed changes should lead to improvements in road safety without disproportionally impacting on drivers.


Hmm! Impact on drivers is obvious more important than safety.


This is, I think, another campaigning possibility (that roads are communal spaces paid for from general taxation, and yet…)

recumbentpanda
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Highway Code consultation -single file issue

Postby recumbentpanda » 3 Aug 2020, 10:09pm

I sent the following email to the Highway Code consultation feedback address:




I wish to express my deep anxiety about the following wording:

“[cyclists’ should] ride in single file when drivers wish to overtake . . .”

This seems to me to be extremely dangerous.

How are cyclists supposed to know that a driver wishes to overtake?

Is there to be an automatic assumption that a driver behind cyclists wishes to overtake?

What about cyclists doing 18 in a 20 zone, or 28 in a 30 zone? (Neither of which would be particularly unusual.)

If not, how are drivers supposed to communicate that wish?

It seems to me that this wording is highly likely to encourage and reinforce existing ‘bullying behaviours’ by drivers, such as illegal use of the horn, revving the engine, or driving dangerously close behind.

I would suggest the point be made the other way round, with some form of wording such as:

“Groups of two or more cyclists should only ride single file if they feel it is safe to do so. Remember that it will take much longer for a driver to complete an overtake of a group in single file, than a group riding two abreast. In both cases, the driver should use the opposite lane, and only pass if they can see it is safe to do so.”

Thank you for considering this proposal.

Pete Owens
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Re: Highway Code consultation -single file issue

Postby Pete Owens » 4 Aug 2020, 12:20am

Spot on.

It is rather worrying that CUK actually seem to think that this is an improvement.

Pete Owens
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby Pete Owens » 4 Aug 2020, 12:47am

MikeF wrote:Hmm! Impact on drivers is obvious more important than safety.


And it goes through all of it - even the bits that CUK seem to think as steps forward are all directing us to keep to the left out of the way on the all important motors - even in situations where they explicitly point out the hazards of doing so.

There is the instruction to ride in single file whenever a motorist might want to overtake.
We are allowed to take the lane, so long as there are no motorists following us.
We are advised to ride a little bit away from parked cars; far enough to avoid accidently scratching the paintwork but not far enough to escape the door zone. Heaven forbid that we take our safety into our own hands by riding in a position that might delay a motorist - we are expected to hope that by using the wrong hand to open the door they will magically notice us through a solid door pillar.
There is the bizarre instruction to keep left when turning right on roundabouts.
Turning vehicles are expected to give way to faster traffic coming from behind - again bizarrely promoted as a cycle friendly measure despite the fact that we sometimes need to turn at junctions and are often followed by faster vehicles wishing to overtake.

Oldjohnw
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Location: Northumberland

Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby Oldjohnw » 4 Aug 2020, 7:40am

The HC also advises cyclists to wear helmets and hi-viz. Seems like cyclists as well as motorists only want some bits to apply.
John

Jdsk
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby Jdsk » 4 Aug 2020, 10:46am

Pete Owens wrote:... we are expected to hope that by using the wrong hand to open the door (motorists) they will magically notice us through a solid door pillar.

I hope that the Dutch Reach gets into the Highway Code. There's very little evidence of effectiveness but it's plausible. As with all changes it should be evaluated.

Outward visibility is a problem, especially from commercial vehicles. But the Highway Code isn't the place to address that. London's trying hard.

Jonathan

Pete Owens
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby Pete Owens » 4 Aug 2020, 11:16am

Jdsk wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:... we are expected to hope that by using the wrong hand to open the door (motorists) they will magically notice us through a solid door pillar.

I hope that the Dutch Reach gets into the Highway Code. There's very little evidence of effectiveness but it's plausible. As with all changes it should be evaluated.

No it is a complete con - and it is very easy to evaluate for yourself.

Try it (if you don't own a car ask a friend if you can sit in theirs). Reach over twist your body round press your face right against the window and admire the extensive view of your door pillar. It is simply not possible to see approaching cyclists coming from behind through a window facing sideways - light travels in straight lines.

The only way to protect cyclists from riding into doors is to give clear instructions to ride outside the door zone. (And that is 1.5m, not the recommended 0.5m). Of course this involves inconveniencing any motorist who might want to overtake at that point so they are desperate to promote alternative measures (however ineffective) that keep us out of their way.

Jdsk
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby Jdsk » 4 Aug 2020, 11:35am

Pete Owens wrote:Try it (if you don't own a car ask a friend if you can sit in theirs). Reach over twist your body round press your face right against the window and admire the extensive view of your door pillar. It is simply not possible to see approaching cyclists coming from behind through a window facing sideways - light travels in straight lines.

Yes, everyone should try it.

But it isn't limited to looking directly through the side window. As Wikipedia puts it:
Motorists and passengers – both front and rear – may be able to make dooring less likely by practicing the "Dutch Reach" – opening the car door by reaching across the body with the more distant hand which promotes a shoulder check – out and back – to scan for cyclists and other oncoming traffic.
Reaching across turns one's upper body and head outward. It encourages drivers and front passengers to use the side wing mirror, look out to the side and then over one's shoulder to scan for traffic before opening. Once the door is partly opened, as one leans out one's over-the-shoulder view is now clear, no longer limited by side pillar (car) or door frame. As a further safe-guard against dooring, reaching across curbs wide, sudden opening.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dooring#Dutch_Reach

And:
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325038552_Validating_%27Dutch_Reach%27_A_Preliminary_Evaluation_of_Far-Hand_Door_Opening_and_its_Impact_on_Car_Drivers%27_Head_Movements
which includes:
... the preliminary investigation suggests some benefits (in terms of increased head rotation) associated with far-hand door opening in the driver’s seat. In addition, preference ratings (encompassing comfort, awareness and safety) suggest that participants recognised the potential for enhanced awareness associated with far-hand door opening.

Jonathan

Jdsk
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Re: Highway Code revisions: Consultation open until 27 October 2020

Postby Jdsk » 4 Aug 2020, 12:29pm

Just been to try it. 2010 Honda Jazz. Of course I knew I was doing it but each of the steps in the Wikipedia article seems right.

Pete Owens wrote:Try it (if you don't own a car ask a friend if you can sit in theirs). Reach over twist your body round press your face right against the window and admire the extensive view of your door pillar. It is simply not possible to see approaching cyclists coming from behind through a window facing sideways - light travels in straight lines.

With a normal amount of twisting I can see my track pump when it's 400mm away from the side of the car at the back. Always worth doing the experiment.

Jonathan

Pete Owens
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Re: Highway Code revisions: Consultation open until 27 October 2020

Postby Pete Owens » 4 Aug 2020, 12:38pm

Now try moving it 12m back (stopping distance at 20mph)

Jdsk
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Re: Highway Code revisions: Consultation open until 27 October 2020

Postby Jdsk » 4 Aug 2020, 12:46pm

I'm sure that it will go up in proportion to distance. But it is clearly "possible" to see some cyclists rather than only the door pillar.

And at 12m they will be visible in the mirror, and as the door opens by direct vision with the head position that the Dutch Reach causes. And then there's the slower door opening.

Jonathan

ChrisButch
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Re: Highway Code revisions: Consultation open until 27 October 2020

Postby ChrisButch » 4 Aug 2020, 12:52pm

One point about 'Dutch reach' which I haven't seen mentioned is that it's presumably far easier to become habitual in a left-hand drive car. That's because you use your right hand, which for the majority is the dominant hand. In the UK it will be more of a challenge to get general acceptance when you have to use your left hand.

Jdsk
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Re: Highway Code revisions: Consultation open until 27 October 2020

Postby Jdsk » 4 Aug 2020, 12:55pm

That's an interesting point that I've never seen raised before.

Jonathan

PS: Do people open L and R car doors using the same actions but mirrored? Or some other actions?