The BBC had an article today regarding the a proposed change to the highway code requiring vehicles to give way to the left at junctions. The proposal was presented with the idea of safeguarding roads for cyclists and pedestrians as well as other road users. While if followed (and enforced) such a proposal would perhaps make the road safer in reality it is unlikely to be followed and will make the road more dangerous especially for cyclists.

Any public message that encourages cyclist to use the inside line along vehicles when approaching any junction is one that encourages cyclist to places themselves in danger. Remember the indicator only offers proof that a light bulb works, nothing else. Riding up the inside of taxis, busses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles is always a very bad idea. As cyclists we have to take responsibility for our own safety but that does not mean that we can’t ask government to help us.

I would propose that rather than a rule regarding left turns, the highway code is amended to make it illegal to overtake any moving road user within a 20 or a 30 zone. Such a rule is easy to explain, obvious when violated, can be imposed by a minority of road users and makes the road safer for all users. I suspect it also will have limited negative impact on most journeys due to congestion and traffic lights. Finally it requires very little expenditure as signage is already in place (the speed limit signs).

The proposal of no over taking in 20 and 30 zones does very little for pedestrians users crossing roads unaided who undeniably would benefit from further protection.