Should drivers give way to cyclists when turning left?
Former cycling champion Chris Boardman is leading the appeal for changes to road users turning at junctions.
The Olympic gold medallist, now British Cycling policy adviser, said Britain should follow the European standard where anyone turning at junctions gives way.
The plea comes amid worries over the safety of road users – particularly cyclists, who experience motorists cutting across them to turn left while the bike continues straight ahead.
Mr Boardman, whose mother Carol was killed in a crash with a truck while cycling in north Wales, said: “Whether driving, cycling or walking, negotiating a junction is the most hazardous manoeuvre you can make on the road – this is evidenced by the fact that nearly two thirds of motor vehicle collisions take place at junctions.
“There are at least 14 different rules in the Highway Code which relate to people walking and cycling at junctions, and it can be difficult for anyone to interpret what is the correct behaviour. A change needs to be made – the rules need to be simple and unambiguous.
“The proposals put forward by British Cycling and partner organisations would eliminate confusion, improve efficiency and reduce congestion, while giving cyclists and pedestrians greater protection – therefore encouraging more people to take up greener transport options and making our streets healthier.”
Mr Boardman said the current rules were ‘over complicated’ and could have deadly consequences. Speaking to BBC Breakfast, the 48-year-old, who won individual pursuit gold at the 1992 Barcelona Games, added: “We should just say we give way when we turn left. You look in your mirror if you’re turning left, which is what good road users do right now anyway, and if there’s somebody there you come off the accelerator. ‘This is definitely not a mandate to overtake on the inside, it is about everybody looking after each other.”
The campaign for universal junction rules is being backed by the AA. Similar rules, implemented on Dutch road, have seen accident rates slashed by a third for pedestrians and half for cyclists.
Backing the petition, Edmund King, AA president, said: “It would be beneficial for all road users if the Highway Code simplified the rules at junctions where a disproportionate amount of injury crashes occur.”
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “The clearer we can make the rules of the road the easier it is for us all to see what’s expected of us and to comply.”
To sign the petition, visit British Cycling at https://takeaction.britishcycling.org.uk/.