‘Look out!’: Motorists warned of little-known ‘right of way’ Highway Code rule

Driver turns into supermarket from bus lane in Hull

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Rule 223 of the Highway Code applies to buses, coaches and trams and instructs drivers who has the right of way when at a junction. It states: “Give priority to these vehicles when you can do so safely, especially when they signal to pull away from stops.

“Look out for people getting off a bus or tram and crossing the road.”

The Highway Code is advisory only and drivers cannot receive a fine for breaking any rules directly.

The guidelines show that buses, coaches and trams must indicate and wait for traffic before pulling out just like any other road user.

Although it is not a legal requirement, it is courteous to slow down and leave a safe distance if a driver can see a bus or coach signal.

It also helps to avoid any confusion and the possibility of a large vehicle pulling out in front of a motorist.

New Highway Code changes were introduced in January and put road safety at the heart of the new regulations.

The fresh guidance included the introduction of a “hierarchy of road users”.

This ensured that quicker or heavier modes of travel have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others.

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When driving and in heavy traffic, some may choose to drive into a bus lane to ease congestion, but this comes with its own headaches.

The RAC said drivers “can and will be punished” if they use them during times of operation.

The typical punishment for driving in a bus lane is £130 in London and £70 outside the capital. 

Prompt payment can usually mean a half-price reduction.

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Bus lanes are specifically covered in the Highway Code with Rule 141 which outline how they can be identified, usually road markings and signs.

It continues: “Unless otherwise indicated, you should not drive in a bus lane during its period of operation. 

“You may enter a bus lane to stop, to load or unload where this is not prohibited.”

Rule 32 addresses pedestrians and their use of buses, ensuring people know to only get on or off a bus when it is stopped.

Pedestrians should never cross the road directly behind or in front of a bus.

They should also wait until it has moved off and they can see clearly in both directions.

Similarly, Rule 65 sets out standards cyclists should follow when near a bus, including being “very careful” when overtaking a bus or leaving a bus lane as they will be entering a busier traffic flow.

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