NASP gets answers to Highway Code concerns
DVSA responds to the industry questions
We are very aware many of you have been asking questions about the new highway code, we put all those questions to DVSA and their answers are below:
Highway Code FAQs from NASP
1. Does the new Rule 170 in the Highway Code apply at junctions controlled by Traffic Lights? Should pedestrians have priority there?
A; At junctions with signals and signs, road users should obey these. For example, we would not expect pedestrians to cross when a red man is showing at a pelican crossing.
2. Do roundabouts count as junctions and should drivers give way to pedestrians there as well? What specific advice is there for pedestrians wishing to cross the approach and exit roads at roundabouts?
A; Roundabouts come in all shapes and sizes and although the rule to give way to pedestrians applies, it is advisory and may not be appropriate or safe in all situations. It is clear that individual circumstances will determine if it is safe to give way to pedestrians waiting to cross and drivers and riders are expected to exert their own judgment to ensure the safety of themselves and other road users. Such factors as:
• the presence of following traffic
• the speed on approach
• the visibility and actions of the person waiting to cross
• and whether it was clear the person intended to cross
will need to be considered. The actions of the driver or rider should not place a pedestrian at risk if they fail to give way to someone who is already crossing the road.
3. DVSA have clearly stated that on a driving test, failure to give way to someone who is waiting to cross the road but is standing safely on the pavement would normally be assessed as a driving fault, can you confirm whether this would be the case at traffic light controlled junctions and at roundabouts?
A; See Q1
4. Do the rules about giving way to pedestrians apply at central refuges?
A; Not unless these are at a junction
5. At a junction where there is a traffic light for vehicles, but not for pedestrians, does a driver obey the green light or wait for the pedestrians?
A; See Q1
6. What advice do we follow concerning a blind or visually impaired pedestrian waiting to cross with a guide dog at junctions?
A; When undertaking our review of The Highway Code to improve the road safety for vulnerable road users, the Department worked closely with representative organisations to seek their views and experiences, including the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC). We also consulted with representatives from Guide Dogs for The Blind, The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and London Vision at the outset as we understood the importance of ensuring that any alterations to The Highway Code considered the needs of those with visual impairments.
The consultation on the proposed changes ran for 3 months and generated a huge response with nearly 21,000 replies received from a wide range of road users. RNIB publicised their support for the proposed changes.
7. When there is a cycle lane available, are cyclists compelled to use it rather than the middle of the lane rule?
A; Rule 61 explains that when cycling, you can use facilities such as cycle lanes and tracks, advanced stop lines and toucan crossings where they make your journey safer and easier. This will depend on your experience and skills and the situation at the time. While such facilities are provided for reasons of safety, cyclists may exercise their judgement and are not obliged to use them.
Rule 72 explains the situations where you should ride in the centre of the lane and where you should allow vehicles to overtake. Rule 213 explains what you should do when you’re driving near people cycling.
8. When will I be able to purchase the new Highway Code?
A; You can pre-order an updated copy of The Highway Code book online now. You’ll be able to buy copies from most high street bookstores from April 2022.
These details were confirmed in the news story published on GOV.UK on 26 January 2022. Read The Highway Code: 8 changes you need to know from 29 January 2022.
The Highway Code on GOV.UK (www.gov.uk/highway-code) was updated on 29 January 2022.
9. When will the theory test questions be changed to reflect the changes?
A; We work with DfT to make sure theory tests remain correct when changes come into effect. It would be unfair to test people on such changes immediately as they might not have learned them in time, so there is a bedding in period. The changes are first reflected in learning resources so that learners have a fair chance of answering questions on them before they appear in live tests.
New questions are trialled with learners before appearing in live tests to make sure tests are fair. The time this takes depends on the success of new questions to work well, and how long it takes to achieve a statistically significant sample.
10. Is there any advice being given to the public about these new rules?
A; The government’s award-winning THINK! campaign has launched a communications drive, backed by over £500,000 in funding, raising awareness of the changes and ensuring road-users across the country understand their responsibilities. The campaign will run across radio and social media channels, with further campaign activity to follow later in the summer.
11. Why is the new edition of the Highway Code available online, when the old version is still available to purchase, this means anyone learning to drive or upskill, could be working on the old rules, why was this allowed to happen?
A; Online is the practical way to keep up with changes to The Highway Code, which can happen several times each year. Up-to-date official learning resources make sure learners always study what they might be tested on.
Online, the official publishers of the book version made it clear that there was a new edition coming and that customers should make sure they bought the one they wanted and needed. So far tens of thousands have done so and DVSA is not aware of any complaints to our publishers TSO that this was unclear and that anyone bought the wrong product as a result. Should they do so, they will help their customers appropriately.
To give people every opportunity to understand that changes were happening and to keep up, DfT publicised the changes when they came in after trialling them over the preceding years since the Road Safety Statement and public consultation on the matter. There is also a bedding in period after such major new changes come into force to allow the communications and publicity to take effect and everyone can reasonably be expected to comply.
The publishers alerted book retailers and wholesalers about the new edition print version well in advance, and accepted returns from them under standard book industry terms. Books published in the UK have to show their edition and impression dates so that customers and library lenders always know when the information in them was current. Booksellers and libraries do not have to withdraw books after they are superseded by newer editions.
12. Will people be marked on test for not using the Dutch Reach system of opening the door?
A; No, the most important thing is that drivers make sure they open the door safely.
13. Why were the words “If its Safe” not inserted after the word “Should” in these new rules and is it too late to amend before the next print run?
A; Any changes to the current approved text would require consultation and would have to be laid before the House once more.
Part 2 & 3 FAQs from NASP
1. When will the DVSA be updating the ADI part 3 test report form to reflect the recent restrictions put on what can be taught?
A; There is no need to update the test report form as we are still able to identify the lesson type and level of pupil presented. This will be adjusted when we move to the DES app for part 3 tests.
2. When will the DVSA be updating the ADI21T?
A; The training objectives are specified in legislation and would require a legislative change to amend.
3. Following the 15-minute reduction in the length of the ADI part 3 assessment, are there plans to review its price to reflect the reduction in time the examiner now spends conducting the assessment?
A; There are no plans to amend the current fee.
4. With regards to the .gov website and information on the part 3 test, it says the reason for the change in assessment length and 3 minute lesson beginning is due to Corona virus. My understanding is the changes are permanent, does the .gov website need updating?
A; Yes this needs updating.
5. Locally in Northamptonshire following Covid lockdowns, we have only been able to book Part 3 tests at 8.30am. This presents some considerable issues to part 3 candidates with regards to: 1. The areas they can use to teach in. 2. The ability of the candidate needed to be able to cope with a predominantly on the move lesson at rush hour. 3. Being able to find a suitable pupil willing and able to have a lesson at that time of day. Are part 3 tests readily available at other times of day? If not, can they be please?
A; Suggest using book to hold so we can identify resource to manage any specific demand for tests.
5. When a PDI on a trainee licence presents for a part 3 test and they are on their own with no trainer, the examiner uses the ADI number of the manager of the sponsoring school which is on the trainee licence badge, this obviously records the result against that ADIs name. But what if the PDI has gone to test against the advice of the sponsoring driving school? The result is still recorded against them.
A; We don’t currently use this data recorded at the start of the part 3. It will be considered as part of the move to the DES app.
We are still awaiting the answer to a couple of your questions, we will forward as soon as we have them.
Current NASP chair