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Highway Code: 61% of drivers HAVE NOT read new rules, AA survey suggests

The motoring group surveyed 13,327 members, with almost two-thirds saying they have not read January's new rules...

A survey by the AA returned the concerning statistic that 61 per cent of motorists asked admitted they had not read the recent updates to the Highway Code, including advice for protecting vulnerable road users and giving cyclists and pedestrians priority at junctions.

The motoring association surveyed 13,327 members, with 8,090 (61 per cent) saying they had not read the changes made in January. Of the 8,090 not to have read the new rules, 6,972 (52 per cent) said they were aware of the changes but had not read them, while 1,118 (8 per cent) were completely unaware of them.

Highway Code.PNG

The managing director of AA Accident Assist, Tim Rankin, said the group is "concerned that so many still haven't read the rules".

> Highway Code changes: 'What about cyclists, or do the rules not apply to them?'

"While we are pleased that many of the changes can be successfully recalled, we'd like more drivers to know the rules outright so they can keep themselves and others safe," he said.

"It is in everyone's interest to take every measure that helps avoid collisions and remove confusion from the road, so we urge those that still haven't read the updated code to do so as soon as possible."

In January, a wide update of the Highway Code came into force, including guidance on safely overtaking cyclists, encouraging vehicle occupants to use the Dutch Reach technique to avoid dooring riders, and giving cyclists and pedestrians priority at junctions without traffic signals.

The new rules also established a hierarchy of road users aimed at making the roads safer for the most vulnerable, with those road users with the most potential to do harm told to protect those more vulnerable.

> Have Highway Code changes made drivers more aggressive?

The AA survey follows a June study which estimated more than 50 per cent of motorists were unable to even name one new rule. Weeks after that, and six months since the rules came into effect, the government finally launched a THINK! road safety campaign — titled 'Travel Like You Know Them' — to promote the changes.

Travel Like You Know Them campaign (THINK! / Department for Transport)

One of the major criticisms of the government roll-out of the new rules was that they were not properly communicated to the public. Back in January a shadow minister said they will be "totally meaningless" if people are unaware, while the AA's head of roads policy Jack Cousens warned "too many drivers are unaware of the new rules of the road".

At the time, Cycling UK called for a long-term public awareness campaign to help produce a "mindset shift" on British roads.

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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