The Department has been working with partners and stakeholders to produce recommendations to update the Road Traffic Act in the light of the needs and concerns of current road users, in particular the URU community. Much of the current Road Traffic Act is rooted in outdated values and assumptions, for example ‘Right of Way’. We therefore seek to regularise and remove the threat of prosecution which currently applies to practices which are widespread in urban areas. It is envisaged that subject to consultation this initiative will be launched in March 2022 and rolled out to all major metropolitan areas by the end of 2025. This work has included input from the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London, the Faculty of Community Engagement at the University of Central Croydon and major fast food delivery service providers.
1. Traffic Lights
1.1 The working group recognise that the historic and outdated practice of the red light meaning that the driver or rider must stop is no longer fit for purpose. In particular it imposes a ‘one size fits all’ model and takes no account of the urgency and other pressures to which the road user may be subject. Recommendation: The growing practice of allowing a ten second period of grace following the display of the red light be adopted into law.
1.2 Two wheeled road users assist many aspects of urban living but their ease of circulation is currently hidebound by outdated rules, many of which users are unaware but to which they may inadvertently fall victim when targeted by Traffic Officers.
Recommendation: Motorcycles and mopeds be encouraged to stop in front of the ‘stop-line’ at traffic lights (following the expiry of the ten second buffer), thereby allowing a speedy getaway and freeing space for other road users.
2. Emerging from Junctions
2.1 Currently road users are required to wait for a space for them to safely join a road they seek to emerge into. This unfairly privileges one stream of traffic over another can lead to delay and frustration.
Recommendation: A driver seeking to emerge from a junction should have to wait no longer than thirty seconds. At the expiry of the time they will be entitled to emerge, stopping oncoming traffic as necessary and acknowledging any danger or inconvenience they may have caused by raising an arm and flashing hazard lights.
3. Overtaking Parked or Stationary Vehicles
3.1 Unfairness also applies where, through no fault of the road user, their side of the carriageway is blocked by a parked or stationary vehicle.
Recommendation: They should no longer have any obligation to wait for opposing traffic to pass before overtaking the vehicle, recognising that no one vehicle should have to be subservient to any other.
4. Turning in the Road
Drivers may often find, through no fault of their own that they are travelling in the wrong direction. Seeking a petrol forecourt or other suitable place in which to turn may add to the delay in their journey.
Recommendation: Drivers bringing traffic to a standstill by executing multiple-point turns on busy thoroughfares should no longer face the threat of prosecution for Careless and Inconsiderate Driving.
ATL Working Group October 2021
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