Cycling Road Safety and The Law

Posted Nov 22, 2017.
Whether you cycle for fun, to get fit or to commute to work / college, being pro-active about your safety should be a prime consideration. In addition to the practical steps you can take, especially around being visible to other road users (lights, hi-vis clothing, etc) and bicycle maintenance (especially ensuring brakes and tyres are well, maintained and fit 
for purpose), it is also important to refresh your knowledge and understanding of the Highway Code. 

Cyclists can be very exposed to harm on our busy roads and our experience here at Bakers Solicitors helping injured cyclists really emphasises how vulnerable they can be. So what does the Highway Code say about cyclists?

Overall, the Highway Code provides a combination of general best-practice guidance and actual legal requirements, contained within sections 59 to 82 of the Code. When the Code uses the terms ‘must’ or ‘must not’, then these are legal requirements; when the terms ‘should’ or ‘should not’ and ‘do’ or ‘do not’ are used, these are advisory elements and are not legal requirements. However, should you be unfortunate enough to be injured on the roads whilst cycling, failure to observe both legally required and advisory elements could affect your ability to make a successful claim for compensation.

For cyclists, the Highway Code covers:

advice on appropriate clothing and the law regarding use of helmets
how to cross roads safely
positioning and rights of way at junctions, roundabouts and various road types

It is good practice for all road users to regularly refresh their Highway Code knowledge. You can do this now by visiting the Highway Code online.