The Highway Code

smithid

New Member
Apologies if you have had this debate before but I am a newbie here. What views do people hold about cyclists following the Highway Code or at least what I was taught on my cycling proficiency many many years ago. I have observed cyclists in London for a few weeks and I have seen no hand signals only a look over the shoulder that is supposed to suggest "look out I am about to change direction" ;bikes speeding through ped crossings when the little green man is in full view and also speeding through red lights and trying to avoid the traffic that clearly has a right of way going in the other direction.

Doesn't this just give cyclists in general a bad rep?
 
Yeah and stopping past the stop line at lights is a shootable offence bud.
 

summerdays

Cycling in the sun
Location
Bristol
hackbike 666 said:
Yeah and stopping past the stop line at lights is a shootable offence bud.
Naughty naughty HB!:biggrin:

Sometimes there are situations where it may be safer not to signal such as approaching a junction and a car coming the opposite way is waiting to turn right down the same road.

Also we don't always see all the look behinds that cyclists make ... I have 3 levels of look behind:
1. Glance -Just to know vaguely whats behind
2. Small look - about to signal perhaps or turn left
3. Good look backwards- intending to move out to the right, looking for a good space.

It depends on how much information you need to take in in that look.

Also since I hit a pot hole whilst signalling and broke my arm last year I'm a little more cautious about signalling where the road surface is bad.
 

StuartG

slower but further
Location
SE London
Remember the HC is mostly a guideline on things you should do. Its mostly very sensible and good commonsense and most sensible people would want to follow it most of the time. The mandatory stuff usually has the word MUST in the sentence and that is the law and should be obeyed.

There are IMHO only two exceptions:

The first is that safety is even more important than the law and should take precedence when the two are in conflict (as was the case in lighting for many a year). However that should not be done lightly and be arguable as a mitigating factor in a court of law.

The second is when nobody is looking or be affected. I don't stop at controlled pedestrian crossings when no one is capable of crossing or other road user would be confused/annoyed by the action. Causing annoyance just gets us all a bad name. Also there is no point in signalling if there isn't anybody to signal to. Safer to keep both hands on the bars.
 
StuartG said:
Also there is no point in signalling if there isn't anybody to signal to. Safer to keep both hands on the bars.
This is a good point. People forget that if you're signalling on a bike, your hand is a long way from the brake lever. On a roundabout this can make a big difference. I signal my intent on roundabouts by road positioning, backed up by brief hand signals if it's safe.
 

BSA

Senior Member
Location
Sheffield
Rhythm Thief said:
This is a good point. People forget that if you're signalling on a bike, your hand is a long way from the brake lever. On a roundabout this can make a big difference. I signal my intent on roundabouts by road positioning, backed up by brief hand signals if it's safe.
Also if you are on a steep descent and want to turn right, this can be tricky.
 

gaz

Cycle Camera TV
Location
South Croydon
summerdays said:
Naughty naughty HB!:biggrin:

Sometimes there are situations where it may be safer not to signal such as approaching a junction and a car coming the opposite way is waiting to turn right down the same road.

Also we don't always see all the look behinds that cyclists make ... I have 3 levels of look behind:
1. Glance -Just to know vaguely whats behind
2. Small look - about to signal perhaps or turn left
3. Good look backwards- intending to move out to the right, looking for a good space.

It depends on how much information you need to take in in that look.

Also since I hit a pot hole whilst signalling and broke my arm last year I'm a little more cautious about signalling where the road surface is bad.
4. The racers look down - whilst in the drops pointing your head down lets you look behind you between your arm and your body. not a perfect look behind but great to see how close someone is behind you.
 

Alien8

Guru
My cycling highway code (in decreasing order of priority):

1) My safety
2) Everybody else's safety
3) My convenience
4) Everybody else's convenience
 

Matthames

Über Member
Location
East Sussex
StuartG said:
Remember the HC is mostly a guideline on things you should do. Its mostly very sensible and good commonsense and most sensible people would want to follow it most of the time. The mandatory stuff usually has the word MUST in the sentence and that is the law and should be obeyed.
Also the mandatory stuff is also backed up by the relevant legislation. For example:

HWC said:
71You MUST NOT cross the stop line when the traffic lights are red. Some junctions have an advanced stop line to enable you to wait and position yourself ahead of other traffic (see Rule 178).
[Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10 & 36(1)]
and relevant bit of legislation:

RTA 1988 said:
36 Drivers to comply with traffic signs

(1) Where a traffic sign, being a sign—
(a) of the prescribed size, colour and type, or
(:biggrin: of another character authorised by the Secretary of State under the provisions in that behalf of the [1984 c. 27.] Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984,
has been lawfully placed on or near a road, a person driving or propelling a vehicle who fails to comply with the indication given by the sign is guilty of an offence.
(2) A traffic sign shall not be treated for the purposes of this section as having been lawfully placed unless either—
(a) the indication given by the sign is an indication of a statutory prohibition, restriction or requirement, or
(:rolleyes: it is expressly provided by or under any provision of the Traffic Acts that this section shall apply to the sign or to signs of a type of which the sign is one;
and, where the indication mentioned in paragraph (a) of this subsection is of the general nature only of the prohibition, restriction or requirement to which the sign relates, a person shall not be convicted of failure to comply with the indication unless he has failed to comply with the prohibition, restriction or requirement to which the sign relates.
(3) For the purposes of this section a traffic sign placed on or near a road shall be deemed—
(a) to be of the prescribed size, colour and type, or of another character authorised by the Secretary of State under the provisions in that behalf of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, and
(:laugh: (subject to subsection (2) above) to have been lawfully so placed,
unless the contrary is proved.
(4) Where a traffic survey of any description is being carried out on or in the vicinity of a road, this section applies to a traffic sign by which a direction is given—
(a) to stop a vehicle,
(:laugh: to make it proceed in, or keep to, a particular line of traffic, or
(c) to proceed to a particular point on or near the road on which the vehicle is being driven or propelled,
being a direction given for the purposes of the survey (but not a direction requiring any person to provide any information for the purposes of the survey).
(5) Regulations made by the Secretary of State for Transport, the Secretary of State for Wales and the Secretary of State for Scotland acting jointly may specify any traffic sign for the purposes of column 5 of the entry in Schedule 2 to the [1988 c. 53.] Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 relating to offences under this section (offences committed by failing to comply with certain signs involve discretionary disqualification).
The RTA has a section on the highway code.

RTA 1988 said:
38 The Highway Code

(1) The Highway Code shall continue to have effect, subject however to revision in accordance with the following provisions of this section.
(2) Subject to the following provisions of this section, the Secretary of State may from time to time revise the Highway Code by revoking, varying, amending or adding to the provisions of the Code in such manner as he thinks fit.
(3) Where the Secretary of State proposes to revise the Highway Code by making any alterations in the provisions of the Code (other than alterations merely consequential on the passing, amendment or repeal of any statutory provision) he must lay the proposed alterations before both Houses of Parliament and must not make the proposed revision until after the end of a period of forty days beginning with the day on which the alterations were so laid.
(4) If within the period mentioned in subsection (3) above either House resolves that the proposed alterations be not made, the Secretary of State must not make the proposed revision (but without prejudice to the laying before Parliament of further proposals for alteration in accordance with that subsection).
(5) Before revising the Highway Code by making any alterations in its provisions which are required by subsection (3) above to be laid before Parliament, the Secretary of State must consult with such representative organisations as he thinks fit.
(6) The Secretary of State must cause the Highway Code to be printed and may cause copies of it to be sold to the public at such price as he may determine.
(7) A failure on the part of a person to observe a provision of the Highway Code shall not of itself render that person liable to criminal proceedings of any kind but any such failure may in any proceedings (whether civil or criminal, and including proceedings for an offence under the Traffic Acts, the [1981 c. 14.] Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981 or sections 18 to 23 of the [1985 c. 67.] Transport Act 1985) be relied upon by any party to the proceedings as tending to establish or negative any liability which is in question in those proceedings.
(8) In this section “the Highway Code” means the code comprising directions for the guidance of persons using roads issued under section 45 of the [1930 c. 43.] Road Traffic Act 1930, as from time to time revised under this section or under any previous enactment.
(9) For the purposes of subsection (3) above—
(a) “statutory provision” means a provision contained in an Act or in subordinate legislation within the meaning of the [1978 c. 30.] Interpretation Act 1978 (and the reference to the passing or repeal of any such provision accordingly includes the making or revocation of any such provision),
(B) where the proposed alterations are laid before each House of Parliament on different days, the later day shall be taken to be the day on which they were laid before both Houses, and
(c) in reckoning any period of forty days, no account shall be taken of any time during which Parliament is dissolved or prorogued or during which both Houses are adjourned for more than four days.
 

thomas

the tank engine
Location
Woking/Norwich
smithid said:
I have observed cyclists in London for a few weeks and I have seen no hand signals only a look over the shoulder that is supposed to suggest "look out I am about to change direction"
Not saying sensible, but the highway code certainly makes it clear that you should try to anticipate what cyclists will do...and if they look over their shoulder that is a good sign they are going to manoeuvre out.
 

dondare

Über Member
Location
London
Some ofthe Highway Code is The Law.
Some of it is "wouldn't it be nice if people were more careful and considerate".
Some of it is crap.
 

dondare

Über Member
Location
London
This bit, for instance:
Cycle Routes and Other Facilities. Use cycle routes, advanced stop lines, cycle boxes and toucan crossings unless at the time it is unsafe to do so. Use of these facilities is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer.
 
OP
S

smithid

New Member
I completely agree with the comments that have been made. However, I saw another example this morning where a female cyclists didn't even slow down for the ped crossing and just swerved through the crowd of people trying to cross the road just missing a couple of people. That's the sort of behaviour that makes me cross. 3 other cyclists waited patiently until the people had gone and then moved off.
 
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