Highway Code Guidance… Safety first – always ‘travel like you know them’

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The Learner Driving Guide is proud to endorse the Government’s Highway Code Guidance Campaign: ‘Travel Like You Know Them’ which has recently been relaunched. The ‘Travel Like You Know Them’ campaign focuses on the fact that people don’t always see people on the roads; they see bikes, lorries and cars. But inside, or on, every one of them is a person –it could be your brother, your mum or your friend.

Travel like you know them’ is part of the highway code guidance and aims to help all road users better understand each other and encourage positive behaviours to ultimately build a more positive and mutually considerate experience that is safer for everyone. The campaign speaks to everyone who uses the road, with a focus on those who can cause the greatest harm; who have a greater responsibility to reduce the risk that they may pose to others.

The Government are attempting to provide us with a peek into the daily lives of people on the roads, showing that it’s not just about cars and bikes, but about the people using them. The goal? To get everyone who uses the roads to understand each other a bit better and promote safe habits to keep us all safe and sound.

As part of the campaign, we’re spreading the word about some important updates to the Highway Code. This includes making sure pedestrians get the nod to cross at junctions, how cyclists can take their space safely in the lane, the ins and outs of passing safely, and mastering the ‘Dutch reach’. Stay tuned and stay safe!

safety first – always travel like you know them’
safety first – always travel like you know them’
safety first – always travel like you know them’

The Highway Code guidance is regularly updated and the latest changes focus on giving way to pedestrians waiting to cross at junctions, cycling in the centre of the lane, passing distances and the Dutch reach. In summary:

  1. Cyclist positioning: People may cycle in the centre of the lane or two abreast in certain situations, whilst allowing others to overtake when it is safe for them to do so. When travelling at up to 30mph, leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking people cycling, and give people more space at higher speeds.
  2. Junctions: People crossing, waiting to cross or cycling straight ahead have priority at junctions.
  3. Overtaking horses: Pass horse riders at under 10mph, with at least 2 metres of space.
  4. Passing pedestrians: Allow at least 2 metres of space and keep to a low speed when passing people walking on the road
  5. Dutch reach: If they’re able to, vehicle users should open their door with the hand furthest from the door so they can see people walking or cycling behind them.

While research shows that road users are increasingly aware of the Highway Code, there is still some way to go. Between January 2022 and August 2022, (the previous campaign) there were positive shifts in driver behaviour, for example an 8% increase in those reporting to always leave a 1.5 metre gap when passing a cyclist. However, overall uptake of the behaviours remains relatively low, with only 42% reporting to always give pedestrians priority at junctions. (Source: Department for Transport, 2023)

To improve on this, this next phase of the Government’s campaign reminds road users that everyone is someone’s best friend, cousin, parent or neighbour. Giving pedestrians a name and sharing a bit about their personality or hobbies as shown in the images, reminds us that it’s real people’s lives at risk when we don’t prioritise safety for everyone on the road.

The Learner Driving Guide always prioritises safety. Our multi-camera angle videos with expert commentary teach how to effectively observe, position and prioritise – providing the necessary confidence to master any driving manoeuvre, ensuring safety for all road users.

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