Older drivers are a bigger risk on the roads following Highway Code changes

What changes are being made to the Highway Code?

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The new Highway Code rules have codified a hierarchy of road users in terms of their vulnerability. The more vulnerable the road user is, the more priority they have on the road. This means that pedestrians and cyclists come at the very top of the priority list.

And now an expert has claimed that it will take older drivers longer to adapt to these rules as they will not study the changes in detail.

Seb Goldin, the CEO of RED Driving School, exclusively told Express.co.uk: “Our view is that younger drivers will more rapidly and quickly engage with this because they are studying the Highway Code.

“Drivers who have been driving for a while and have been qualified for a while should always see the opportunity for further driving education and support as they go through their driving careers.

“Driving is the one activity that we all think we’re brilliant at and for most people the only coaching they ever have is to actually get through the driving test.”

Mr Goldin, however, highlighted that the implemented changes are not that drastically different from what was already in place.

The expert said: ”Although on the face of it this looks like it’s a huge change, all it’s really doing is codifying what was already in place in the Highway Code.

“It’s formalising the hierarchy of road users.

“Highway Code has always said that you have to take care of more vulnerable road users.

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“Car always needs to give extra space to a horse, a pedestrian or a cyclist.

“It’s just really formalising that in the Highway Code now.”

Mr Goldin added: “The concept of being a better and more advanced driver is to plan ahead and to think ahead and to always spot some hazards.

“A hazard is always going to be someone who is a more vulnerable user than you.

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“You spot the hazard and then you come up with a strategy to cope with it safely.

“If you’re driving along in a busy area with pedestrians around you need to look at every pedestrian as a potential hazard.

“The moment as soon as a pedestrian puts a foot on the road, you as a driver have a responsibility to avoid them.

“Being a good driver is being a safe driver.”

Despite the changes not being seen as “fundamental”, almost three-quarters of Britons are confused by the new Highway Code rules.

More than 70 percent of drivers are confused with the new H3 rule, which states that drivers must give priority to a cyclist when they are turning into or out of a junction.

On top of that, research has revealed that a significant proportion (73 percent) don’t think or are unsure if the recent Highway Code changes are improving road safety or protecting vulnerable road users.

More than half of those asked admitted they don’t feel or are not sure they understand them.

Jonathan White, Legal and Compliance Director at National Accident Helpline, echoed Mr Goldin’s comments calling on drivers to refresh their knowledge of the new changes.

He said: “While we have always welcomed the Highway Code changes, we have also expressed our concern about insufficient public education and understanding around the changes.

“The data from our latest research reflects this.

“It’s concerning to see that so many road users believe the changes aren’t improving safety and still don’t know what changes have been made.

“Some people even believe nothing has altered, so it’s understandable why many people would like to see a refresher driving test put in place.”

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