Highway code update for the vulnerable

That answer to the 6th question is giving me doubts about the safety of this advice.

You are driving straight ahead in slow-moving traffic. Pedestrians and cyclists are waiting to cross. What should you do?

  • Unless it’s an emergency, don’t encourage a pedestrian or cyclist to cross in front of you in case heavy braking leads to a following driver shunting your vehicle
  • You should allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross in front of your vehicle
  • You should check your rear view mirror, and if safe to do so, flash your headlights to indicate to the pedestrian or cyclist to cross

Encouraging a pedestrian to cross the road in front of you, also encourages an impatient driver behind you to overtake you and plough into the crossing pedestrian. This has been my experience at least.
I guess it will largely depend on how slow the moving the traffic is and how easy it is to overtake on that specific road.

I too have reservations about this advice. Only yesterday I was stationary behind a bus that was indicating right to move past parked vehicles but not able to move forward due to other traffic just passed the parked cars. As I waited, a car came up from behind, overtook me and the bus and immediately came to a halt because they had not seen the congestion in front of the bus. I can easily see that happening in circumstances involving pedestrians, etc as described by the OP.

You can wave a pedestrian to cross the road all you like, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe for them to cross. Only they can determine that. Other traffic from any direction you can’t see could be doing god knows what. You waving them across risks them not fully evaluating if it’s safe and getting mowed down.

Sure, stop for them to cross, but don’t encourage them to, they need assess when safe to cross.

I remember being taught in my driving lessons that you could stop to let someone cross/pull out but that you shouldn’t wave them across as it gives the impression that you are saying that they’re safe to go.

I see it all the time that people get flashed/waved to cross one lane and just assume that means it’s safe to cross another (particularly where there is a seemingly empty bus lane next to the queue of traffic.

I’ve pretty much stopped letting people cross when I’m on the bike as there is often some muppet behind me who takes the opportunity to nip around (usually scooters but I’ve had cars squeeze into the bike lane/pavement) to try and pass me on the inside when I’ve stopped at a traffic island.

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What should you do? You see a sneaky police motorcyclist with his hand held radar gun behind a hedgerow completely hidden from the view of oncoming vehicles.

  1. Nothing
  2. Give two flashes of your headlamps
  3. Give an old school ‘I intend to turn left or pull in to the left’ hand signal.

I always opt for the ‘I intend to slow down or stop’ hand signal, which may or may not happen to coincide by complete coincidence with when I pass another oncoming biker…

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1.Nothing .

It may be that wake up call that they need to use their observation a lot more and and might save their life or someone elses down the line