‘War on incompetent drivers’ Harlow cyclist Highway threat ‘you’ll have your day in court’

Highway Code: This Morning panel debate changes to code

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Nick Freeman, a traffic solicitor and cycling enthusiast Dave Sherry gave opposing views on the Highway Code changes as they both appeared on This Morning. Nick was against the changes detailing the dangers it could cause, Dave felt motorists should have more “common sense” when it came to pedestrian and cyclists safety.

Introducing the topic, host Phillip Schofield said: “On Saturday, a revised highway code which is set to come into force to make Britain’s roads safer.”

Rochelle continued: “Amongst the new rules and guidance, it is now considered safer for two cyclists to ride side by side, and now cars must leave one point five meters when passing bicycles.

“It also states that cyclists should now ride in the centre of a lane and slower moving traffic on quieter roads.”

Speaking to Nick, Phillip revealed he hadn’t heard anything about the changes as a motorist or a cyclist.

Nick said: “They are well-intentioned I mean, the purpose is to make them safer, but I think it is actually going to have the opposite effect.

“Pedestrians now at junctions can step off the road, and cyclists and other vehicles are expected to stop, so what we are doing is taking away responsibility from the most vulnerable.”

Confirming Nick’s point, Phillip asked: “So pedestrians are allowed to just walk out on the road, and we are expected to stop?”

“At a junction,” Nick continued. “Bearing in mind at the moment they can be on their phones, they can be listening to music.

“So, my view is very simple, new highway code why don’t we have designated areas in city centres where they cross the roads.”

Moving on to speak to Dave about the new rules and risk of more people getting knocked over, he explained: “I totally agree, but the thing is you have to use your common sense.

“The highway code has changed because it’s not a war on drivers, it’s a war on incompetent drivers. It’s about making the road a better place for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

“The shoe is on the other foot now, thinking outside the box I think it is a good thing, it is going to improve road safety tenfold.

“It is all about common sense, if you don’t put in these new rules, you are going to be reported, and you are going to have your day in court,” he slammed.

Dave went on to say the highway code is updated regularly, and there should be no excuses for people not to know the rules.

Viewers of This Morning took to Twitter to discuss the rules, with many disagreeing the new rules will make the road safer.  

@Madamemin said: “Surely the first rule for pedestrians is don’t step off the curb if there’s a car coming… safety vs common sense.”

@Mikepriestly13 commented: “The road is for cars, not bikes… use the cycling lane that’s why there were made, don’t weave in and out of traffic and don’t go through red lights….”

@FLuffdelic fumed: “This will cause a rise in vigilante cyclists with their helmet cameras causing aggro for the sake of it.”

@aniloopj added: “I can see these new highway code rules regarding cyclists and pedestrians causing many unnecessary deaths.

“As a car driver, it’s frightening that people can just step off the path in front of cars, it’s absurd and dangerous.” (sic)

This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV

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