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Saturday, 28 December 2013

Rules 163 & 215 of the Highway Code need to reflect 2014 not 1900

The Highway Code, just like road safety policy itself, has developed over many years in a very piecemeal fashion. Like road safety itself, it has become too complex, often wrong and outdated.

Both road safety & The Highway Code need a bottom up review.

Two rules, 163 & 215 show clearly how road safety is out of date, wrong and thus dangerous.

They are both about drivers passing others on the road.

Rule 163 says, 'Give vulnerable road users at least as much space as you would when overtaking a car'.  How vague, subjective & meaningless is that? Different drivers have different ideas so, in effect, this means 'carry on as normal' to each. But the major fault in this is, that at very low speeds, drivers pass other obstacles, like parked cars, much closer, and often only by inches very safely and successfully all the time. So rule 163 makes no sense whatsoever and is utter nonsense.

Rule 215 says: 'Be particularly careful of horse riders and horse drawn vehicles especially when overtaking. Always pass wide and slowly. Horse riders are often children, so take extra care and remember riders may be in double file when escorting a young or inexperienced horse or rider. Look out for horse riders' and horse drivers' signals and heed requests to slow down and stop. Take great care and treat all horses as a potential hazard; They can be unpredictable, despite the efforts of their rider/driver.'
This is the Highway Code in 2014, actually accepting on our roads, large, unpredictable, hazards, that the riders are often unable to control despite all efforts and worse, in the hands of children too! If that isn't bad enough, horses, now obsolete as essential to the community for road transport, have become purely recreational. What other such recreation do we allow in the middle of our roads?
Roads and streets are not for play or are playgrounds. They are the tracks of essential infrastructure just like railway lines and airport runways are.  See horses-public-roads
 Isn't it about time the Highway Code started to reflect that fact? See Highway code in 100 words


  1. Most motor vehicles fit your definition of "large, unpredictable, hazards, that the riders are often unable to control despite all efforts and worse, in the hands of children too!", are you going to ban them as well? btw you may want to calm down on the comma front.

  2. Yes of course. I am the first to make that clear. Unlike trains on tracks, or planes on paths too with very highly trained and highly monitored operators, these are large pieces of machinery on the road operated by any Tom, Dick or Harry with varied ability and mental process. So why would any rational person wish to mingle with it? Even so, after 300 billion driver miles a year, there's less death on the road from all causes than from accidents in the home.

    The simple truth is that, whereas society wouldn't miss cycling and horse riding, it would collapse without drivers. There really is no commercial justification for these animals to be in the road anymore, So why are they there? I am confident horses would roundly cheer the idea of not having to be on roads too and much prefer to be running free on fields as well.