Cyclists and the Highway Code
- By London Cycling Campaign on at 11:00pm 4 September 2006
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Credit: Lionel Shapiro
LCC believes that cyclists should be allowed to judge whether or not to use cycling facilities, including cycle lanes. This is because cyclists have the same entitlement to use the roads as motorists and cycle facilities may be poorly-designed or in bad condition.
What changes are being made?
Under the proposed changes, the code would state cyclists should “use cycle routes when practicable and cycle facilities….where they are provided.” (Rule 58.)
What is the problem?
The new rule – if accepted – would have serious consequences for cyclists. It would give insurance companies the opportunity to try and reduce the awards paid to cyclists after an accident, if they had not been using a cycle lane or cycle facility.
The insurance company could argue a cyclist who was injured and not using a nearby “cycling facility” was guilty of “contributory negligence”. Insurance companies have already tried to reduce awards paid to injured cyclist who were not wearing cycle helmets on similar grounds.
What is LCC campaigning for?
LCC wants the new code, due to be published early next year, to remove all words which could give insurances companies a possible legal justification for seeking unwarranted “contributory negligence” claims against cyclists.
The CTC – the national cyclists’ organisation, is co-ordinating a national campaign to ensure the new Highway Code is fair for cyclists. It is also calling for clear advice to drivers on safe interactions with cyclists.
The best way to stay in touch and support this campaign is to join LCC. As well as funding our work, members campaign with us locally and across the capital. Join us today. Together we can make London a world class cycling city.