A Green Light for Cyclists?
The Government has signalled its intention to give priority to cyclists and other vulnerable road users (pedestrians and horse riders) over vehicles. Plans are already afoot to amend the Highway Code to prioritise these groups; the Department for Transport (DfT) issued a Consultation on 25 August 2020.
The DfT is now using artificial intelligence (AI) technology at traffic light-controlled junctions on a trial basis in three cities (including Southampton) to ‘see’ approaching cyclists and change the cyclist’s light to green. Current sensors cannot spot cyclists. 75% of cyclists injured on our roads are hit at or close to junctions. The Government recognises the fact that some cyclists (wrongly, of course) ride through red lights.
The Government intends to encourage cycling by trying to make it safer. This follows the DfT’s latest National Travel Attitudes Study (5 August 2020) survey which found that 66% of people agreed that cycling on our roads is too dangerous.
We at George Ide LLP are keen to see our roads made as safe as possible, and to encourage healthy and environmentally friendly travel. We still have much to learn from the likes of the Netherlands, but this is a pedal stroke in the right direction.
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