Jo Swinson MP has quizzed Transport Minister Derek Twigg over the current review of the Highway Code that is causing dismay among cyclists in East Dunbartonshire.
The Highway Code periodically undergoes review, and several local cyclists have contacted Jo to express concern that the wording of the Highway Code needs urgent revision.
Speaking in the House of Commons today, Jo said:
“Many people are deeply concerned about the draft revised Highway Code in respect of cyclists.
“If, as currently proposed, changes mean that cyclists are required to use cycling facilities, any cyclist involved in an accident with a vehicle may not be covered by a motorist’s insurance company due to a contributory negligence claim.
“Can the Minister give an assurance that the new Highway Code will not force cyclists off the road for fear of legal consequences?”
Jo later commented:
“Many local cyclists are worried that insurance companies are taking advantage of the wording of the Highway Code by claiming “contributory negligence” on the part of cyclists who do not follow the recommendations of the Code.
“The fact that the Highway Code recommends that cyclists “should” wear a helmet has led to insurance companies refusing to pay in cases where cyclists without helmets are hit and injured by careless drivers.
“The consultation on the latest revision of the Highway Code runs until 10th May. I have passed on the comments of local cyclists who have contacted me for submission to the review, and was glad of the opportunity to raise the same important points with the Minister himself in Parliament today.
“The Highway Code should provide sound advice on safety for all road users, and any loopholes being exploited by insurance companies must be closed in the latest review.”
The Driving Standards Agency Highway Code consultation runs until l0th May. For information about making submissions, the DSA can be contacted on 0115 901 2500 or by following the link below. The DSA postal address is:
Driving Standards Agency, Stanley House, 56 Talbot Street, Nottingham, NG1 5GU