New highway code 'lacking clarity' and 'causing chaos'

Liz Barnard was verbally abused for adhering to the new highway code rules while George Patton gives his top tips.

Liz Barnard, right, was verbally abused for adhering to the new highway code rules while George Patton, left, gives his top tips for adhering to the changes. - Credit: Laura Solloway

While the new highway code is designed to keep pedestrians and road users safer some people in the city believe confusion is causing more chaos than clarity.

Liz Barnard, who lives in Old Catton, had stopped in Spixworth Road to let pedestrians cross before turning into Church Street.

"There was a group of about five adults with two buggies and several dogs waiting to cross the road.

The incident happened in Spixworth Road which leads into Church Street.

The incident happened in Spixworth Road which leads into Church Street. - Credit: Google Maps

"I gave them priority as per the new instructions. A man waved me across - I shook my head and they then crossed safely.

"But the car behind me, an SUV, hooted at me to get out of the way."

Liz went over to explain why she had stopped - however things began to turn nasty.

Liz Barnard was verbally abused by another driver for allowing pedestrians to cross as part of the new highway code rules.

Liz Barnard, a self-employed garden and decorator, was verbally abused by another driver for allowing pedestrians to cross as part of the new highway code rules. - Credit: Liz Barnard

She said: "I got out of my car, walked back and told the driver I was complying with the new highway code regulations which was to give pedestrians priority.

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"He then proceeded to shout at me and pointed out that someone had waved me on.

"I pointed out that, nonetheless, the pedestrians had priority and I did not have to respond and wouldn’t.

"That's when he started to verbally abuse me calling me all sorts of names."

Liz is now worried about how to implement the rules going forward.

George Patton, claims.co.uk expert, provide his tips for sticking to the new highway code rules and changes.

George Patton, claims.co.uk expert, provide his tips for sticking to the new highway code rules and changes. - Credit: Laura Solloway

She said: "I am now confused - should I have accepted the pedestrian’s invitation to continue to turn into the junction or did I do the right thing by sticking to the new highway code regulations by giving the pedestrians priority.

"If I had accepted the pedestrian's invite to go I would have avoided any confrontation with the driver behind me but I would have also been in infringement of the Highway Code."

This comes off the back of research from legal company Claims.co.uk which analysed 100 of the top performing UK news articles between January 8 and February 8 to reveal the average positive and negative receptions to the new rules.

The general reception is that most of the British public dislike the new rules with 42.1pc of reactions to articles on the highway code being negative - compared to just 14.5pc that were positive.

What the experts say

George Patton, of Claims.co.uk, believes the best way to get used to the new rules is to stick to the basics.

He said: "Practice safe habits – always ensure seat belts are worn, distractions are kept to a minimum and that you remain focused.

"These fundamentals are especially important when adjusting to new road measures.

"Pay special attention to cyclists and pedestrians – whether you agree with the changes or not, the updated highway code is still pertinent to non-driving road users.

"Potential dangers can be worse for these people, so ensure to take extra care around them.

"If you can’t ensure it’s safe, don’t do it – If you’re not confident that your next manoeuvre will be safe, wait until you know it is safe to do so.

"Be patient with other road users – you may have already implemented the new rules but everyone learns at different rates."