Truck overtake

Should big vehicles take care of riders?

UK amends Highway Code

The UK Highway Code is being revised to incorporate a hierarchy of vehicles where bigger vehicles have to look out for smaller, more vulnerable, road users such as motorcyclists.

Sounds like fair deal, right?

After all, big vehicles such as trucks have huge blind spots and drivers need to take care to ensure that small vehicles such as motorcycles, scooters and bicycles are not in the way before taking a turn or other manoeuvre. 

Click here to read about how you can avoid a truck’s many blind spots.

And most riders would like to see road safety messages include an education component to make drivers more aware of them.

However, we are not so sure that legislating a hierarchy of vehicles is such a good idea, especially in Australia where our roads are shared by everything from bicycles t 50+m road trains.

For a start, how would police patrol for offences?

Impossible.

And if a law can’t be policed, it shouldn’t exist.

The only use for such a rule would be in the wake of a crash where the onus of driving innocence would then fall on the larger of the vehicles involved.

However, this onus of proof runs contrary to our justice system where people are innocent until proven guilty.

It would also apply to motorcyclists if they were involved in a crash with a cyclist.Identification bicycle cyclist video

It’s quite ridiculous and an example of safety Nazis getting in the way of a commonsense approach.

The Australian bicycle lobby has been arguing for something similar for some years.

However, road safety signalling should be about sharing the road, taking responsibility for your own actions and penalising those who operate outside the road rules.

The UK Highway Code does require drivers and riders of all vehicles to be responsible for looking out for more vulnerable road users, but the concern is the implied guilt simply because a vehicle is simply bigger.

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