The war on the UK Motorist intensifies.
New rules for the 'hierarchy of road users' being brought in by the UK Government next week give Cyclists priority in every situation and are likely to cause a spike in road-rage incidents say motoring organisations.
The rules that are designed to make motorists the 'second-class citizens' have been imposed on road users without any consultation with the public, or parliamentary scrutiny, and most UK drivers are unaware of the controversial changes to come.
From next week, a new 'hierarchy of road users' will come into effect which will mean drivers must give way to cyclists and pedestrians at junctions with cyclists also being told to ride in the centre of the road as can be seen in the diagrams below.
Campaigners have said the 'fundamental' change to the way people have been driving for decades risks causing confusion and avoidable collisions. A survey by the AA found that 33 percent of motorists still had no idea the changes were being introduced despite it being less than a week until they are set to be brought in.
Devised by the Department of Transport the rule change will, they say, 'introduce a hierarchy of road users to ensure that those road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others'. However, motorist organisations have pointed out that motorists must already pass a test, be insured and taxed to operate a motor vehicle on British roads, in contrast to cyclists who don't have to have any of these things to be sharing the road with them. Currently they do not have to even take a cycling proficiency test, don't need to have insurance or even wear a helmet to ride a pushbike. And yet, these unlicensed, undisciplined and uninsured cyclists have now been given more rights and freedoms than any driver on the road.
The new rules state that cyclists should also ride in the middle of the road in certain circumstances with motorists giving way to them in all scenarios. Cyclists and drivers must also give way to pedestrians who are crossing or waiting to cross at junctions.
Although the changes are set to be introduced next Saturday, charities and motoring groups say not enough has been done to make people aware and that this could lead to increased anger and resentment on the roads.
Neil Greig, the director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, a road safety charity, told the Times: 'A lot of drivers are going to think that somebody cycling in the middle of the lane in front of them is doing it to deliberately slow them down. "That leads to conflict and road rage and inappropriate overtaking. Everybody needs to know all of these changes at the same time for it to work." Meanwhile, the Alliance of British Drivers slammed the changes as potentially dangerous. A spokesman said: "The proposed hierarchy of road users is likely to create or exacerbate resentment and ill feeling between different classes of road user, and may lead to irresponsible attitudes by cyclists and pedestrians."
Motoring experts have also pointed out that the real reason for the change is not about extra-safety but a further attack in the ongoing war on the motorist. Putting cyclists in the middle of the road will inevitably slow down city traffic even further, whilst increasing the likelihood of a spike in road-rage incidents. It has also been pointed out that, should a collision occur between motorist and cyclist it will always be deemed the motorist is at fault, regardless of how dangerously and recklessly the cyclist was riding.
Another new law that has gone unnoticed by most motorists is that all new cars sold in the UK from 2022 will have to have a Black Box and a speed limiter installed. The Black Box will track the cars location, speed, braking and acceleration, and the data will be shared with insurance companies and authorities on demanded. Liberty groups have already expressed concern about the new law which they say, given recent revelations about Government secretly tracking people's mobiles during lockdown, they are most likely to abuse these new powers as part of their mass surveillance programme.