Understanding the Highway Code for Cyclists
Statistics show that the number of cyclists killed on British roads has drastically increased by 40 per cent in the past year. Correspondingly, the number of people participating in cycling has grown in number as well. And according to the Department for Transport (DFT), these figures are estimated to rise as the government urges people to refrain from using public transport during the pandemic.
Everyone is welcome to join the cycling community. But before you start cycling on the road, you must better understand the Highway Code for cyclists. Below is a simple guide on some of the rules you have to follow.
In the Highway Code, section 59 enumerates the appropriate clothing to wear when you’re cycling. In general, cyclists should wear helmets that conform to the current regulations. A helmet must fit the head of the user properly and be fastened around it correctly.
Other than headgear, the rule also recommends cyclists wear fitted clothes to avoid fabric from getting snagged between the chain or the wheel. Additionally, reflective accessories make it easier for other road users to see them.
Note that this rule is merely a recommendation to help keep cyclists safe while on the road. Bikers are free to choose what they want to wear when biking. Besides, other alternatives can help keep you safe on the road. For example, you can use bicycle LED lights instead of reflective accessories when cycling at night.
Section 60 of the Highway Code explains bicycle lights and reflectors. At night, cyclists must have their bicycle headlight and rear light lit. In addition, bikes must have fitted red rear reflectors and amber pedal reflectors. Cyclists can also use white front and spoke reflectors to increase their visibility to other road users. While flashing lights are permitted, cyclists going around areas without street lights should use a steady front light instead of flashing ones.
Section 62 of the Highway Code elaborates the use of cycle tracks. These tracks are away from the road, making them a lot safer to use. Unfortunately, cycle tracks are sometimes alongside pedestrian footpaths and pavements. If you’re on a segregated cycleway, it’s crucial to stay on the right side, ride at a moderate speed, and give way for pedestrians—especially children, elderlies, and disabled individuals.
In general, cyclists are not allowed to cycle on the pavement as stated under Laws HA 1835 section 72 & RSA 1984, section 129—applying to all cyclists, including children.
Section 66 of the Highway Code give precise instructions on what cyclists should or should not do when biking on the road:
1. Always keep your hands on the handlebars except when making signals or changing gears.
2. Keep both feet on the pedals at all times.
3. Use bells to signal blind and partially sighted pedestrians you are nearby.
4. Ride single file on narrow or busy roads, especially when riding around curves or bends.
1. Ride more than two abreast.
2. Ride close behind or hold on to another vehicle.
3. Carry anything or anyone that might affect your balance while on the road.
The Highway Code for cyclists is vital in making sure bikers can cycle safely on the road. Remember to follow them as they are put in place to protect you from harm when travelling via a bicycle.
If you need quality cycling accessories to make cycling on the road a lot safer, shop only at a trusted cycling supplier like Cushbike. We offer bike LED lights, tail lights, rear lights and other premium attachments that help cyclists like you stay safe even when biking at night. Buy your bicycle accessories now!