A rant about Rule 170 Highway Code

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
Bicycler
Posts: 3400
Joined: 4 Dec 2013, 3:33pm

Re: A rant about Rule 170 Highway Code

Postby Bicycler » 25 Mar 2014, 4:39pm

iviehoff wrote:I do not think it is safe / logical / sensible for a pedestrian to demand priority over a vehicle which is already turning into the road the pedestrian wishes to cross, and make it screech to a halt. It may additionally cause an accident between the turning vehicle and innocent third parties if the turning vehicle has to screech to a halt part way through the manoevre.

I think we're all agreed about vehicles not turning into pedestrians who are already crossing the road and pedestrians not endangering themselves/others by stepping in front of a vehicle which is already mid turn.

The question is which has priority if both are approaching the junction at the same time? If the pedestrian has not left the kerb and the vehicle has not yet started turning which should expect to give way? Personally, when driving I have always treated the pavement as I would a cycle lane, the forward moving traffic (albeit on foot) having priority over any traffic crossing its path.

The difference in language used when dealing with different types of traffic travelling the same journey is always interesting. Vehicles continue past side roads and are cut up by turning vehicles, the turning vehicle driver not having looked properly. Pedestrians cross side roads and step out in front of turning vehicles, the pedestrian not having looked properly.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 18754
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: A rant about Rule 170 Highway Code

Postby Vorpal » 25 Mar 2014, 7:18pm

In Norway and Sweden, pedestrians have priority as soon as they approach a crossing and look like they may start across. Drivers who are turning must also give way to any cyclists or pedestrians already using the carriageway.

The result of this is that drivers generally slow in the presence of pedestrians. Pedestrians also step out into the road in front of cars, sometimes apparently without looking. Drivers stop their cars, and don't even seem perturbed by this behaviour.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

LollyKat
Posts: 3032
Joined: 28 May 2011, 11:25pm
Location: Scotland

Re: A rant about Rule 170 Highway Code

Postby LollyKat » 25 Mar 2014, 10:14pm

Vorpal wrote:In Norway and Sweden, pedestrians have priority as soon as they approach a crossing and look like they may start across. Drivers who are turning must also give way to any cyclists or pedestrians already using the carriageway.

The result of this is that drivers generally slow in the presence of pedestrians. Pedestrians also step out into the road in front of cars, sometimes apparently without looking. Drivers stop their cars, and don't even seem perturbed by this behaviour.

I was gobsmacked to see the same behaviour in Rome last year. I had just a day's sightseeing before catching an evening plane and thought the traffic would make it really difficult to walk around the city, but not at all. Not only did the cars stop at zebras, but at all side streets as soon as we approached. I couldn't believe it! The same applies in Denmark and Ireland and probably several other countries.

kwackers
Posts: 15468
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: A rant about Rule 170 Highway Code

Postby kwackers » 25 Mar 2014, 10:28pm

LollyKat wrote:I was gobsmacked to see the same behaviour in Rome last year. I had just a day's sightseeing before catching an evening plane and thought the traffic would make it really difficult to walk around the city, but not at all. Not only did the cars stop at zebras, but at all side streets as soon as we approached. I couldn't believe it! The same applies in Denmark and Ireland and probably several other countries.

Great isn't it? :wink:

I once had to cross a road out of embarrassment in Norway because I'd stopped and was looking across the road to see what shops where over there only to cause the passing cars to stop and wait for me to cross - which I then dutifully did, waited until they'd disappeared and then crossed back.

The stupid thing is the behaviour of motorists in this country works against them in the end. By not allowing pedestrians to cross, ignoring zebra crossings etc slowly but surely the council rip stuff up and replace them with light controlled crossings and junctions slowing them down far more than the occasional pause to let someone cross.

drossall
Posts: 5131
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 10:01pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: A rant about Rule 170 Highway Code

Postby drossall » 25 Mar 2014, 10:48pm

LollyKat wrote:I was gobsmacked to see the same behaviour in Rome last year.

We found it in northern Italy too. It felt really safe to be a pedestrian. I'd expect it in northern Europe, but it was good to find it farther south.

karlt
Posts: 2244
Joined: 15 Jul 2011, 2:07pm

Re: A rant about Rule 170 Highway Code

Postby karlt » 26 Mar 2014, 1:48pm

drossall wrote:
LollyKat wrote:I was gobsmacked to see the same behaviour in Rome last year.

We found it in northern Italy too. It felt really safe to be a pedestrian. I'd expect it in northern Europe, but it was good to find it farther south.


My experience of Milan, on the other hand, is that your survival time is about five minutes if you don't watch really carefully.

ossie
Posts: 1170
Joined: 15 Apr 2011, 7:52pm

Re: A rant about Rule 170 Highway Code

Postby ossie » 28 Mar 2014, 9:17pm

Ive been aware of this rule for many years and often mention it to friends / colleagues. They simply dont believe me.

MikeF
Posts: 3992
Joined: 11 Nov 2012, 9:24am
Location: On the borders of the four South East Counties

Re: A rant about Rule 170 Highway Code

Postby MikeF » 29 Mar 2014, 9:15am

Bicycler wrote:What's the average length of time since the average driver passed their test?

I passed my test when for part of the test you could only use hand signals. :shock: But I still remember that you should give way to pedestrians when turning left, so I don't think time is relevant. In fact a contemporary of mine was told pedestrians always have right of way on the road :wink: Motorways didn't exist then.
A few years ago I attended a driver awareness course at work where the aim seemed to be to point out what bad drivers we all were :shock:
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

Bicycler
Posts: 3400
Joined: 4 Dec 2013, 3:33pm

Re: A rant about Rule 170 Highway Code

Postby Bicycler » 29 Mar 2014, 3:52pm

MikeF wrote:
Bicycler wrote:What's the average length of time since the average driver passed their test?

I passed my test when for part of the test you could only use hand signals. :shock: But I still remember that you should give way to pedestrians when turning left, so I don't think time is relevant. In fact a contemporary of mine was told pedestrians always have right of way on the road :wink: Motorways didn't exist then.
A few years ago I attended a driver awareness course at work where the aim seemed to be to point out what bad drivers we all were :shock:

Mine was a flippant remark responding to this:
John Holiday wrote:When did the average driver last look at The Highway Code?


Whilst I fully believe that the tests themselves are now more thorough than they've ever been, I think some things have lost emphasis in driving instruction and consideration for pedestrians is undoubtedly one of those. That said, the HC does change and things do slip from people's minds. It is amazing how many drivers who have been driving for 30+ years don't know this particular rule. Other common misunderstandings are the National Speed Limit(s), what a dual carriageway is, and the difference between the following signs (or even the meaning of either):
No motor vehicles.png

no-vehicles-except-pushed-bicycles-sign.jpg
no-vehicles-except-pushed-bicycles-sign.jpg (9.15 KiB) Viewed 560 times

stoobs
Posts: 1307
Joined: 27 Nov 2007, 4:45am

Re: A rant about Rule 170 Highway Code

Postby stoobs » 30 Mar 2014, 3:04pm

I do think that with the multiple guess section of the modern test that a few questions, such as one on Rule 170, would force appropriate behaviour, and also allow for the correct action after incidents.

MikeF
Posts: 3992
Joined: 11 Nov 2012, 9:24am
Location: On the borders of the four South East Counties

Re: A rant about Rule 170 Highway Code

Postby MikeF » 30 Mar 2014, 4:35pm

Bicycler wrote:Mine was a flippant remark responding to this:
John Holiday wrote:When did the average driver last look at The Highway Code?

Ok. I missed that! :lol:
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master