Driving instructors

Driving instructors in North Wales have their say on new rules of the road

Driving instructors reacted to the new rules of the highway code which came into force on January 29.

Instructors from across North Wales shared their views on the changes affecting all road users, including motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians.

The new rules mean that road users who are likely to cause the most damage – such as cars and lorries – have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger they may pose.

READ MORE: Cyclist tests new traffic rules to see how they work in practice

Drivers must also yield to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross at an intersection.

the updated tips makes drivers more responsible for giving way and being more aware of potential dangers on the road.

Many have hit back at the changes, with motorists calling for changes to the new traffic laws to be scrapped.

Driving instructors reacted to the new rules of the highway code which came into force on January 29

As many of the changes are expected to impact motorists, we spoke to driving instructors across North Wales to find out what they thought.

“There is not enough information published on this subject”

David Hughes, a driving instructor based in Conwy, said his concerns lay in the speed at which the new rules were introduced.

He said: “I don’t disagree with any of the rules, but I struggled to find all the new rules myself, so how is my 84-year-old mum going to find out?

“I just think it was introduced pretty quickly and there’s not enough information released about it.”

The Elite driving school instructor said the government should have given motorists detailed information about the changes before they came into effect to ensure everyone was aware of the new rules.

He explained: “Just dropping it without notice is bad, it could have been done much better.

“People need to be educated with new rules, you can’t just say if you don’t open the door with your left hand you’ll be fined £1000 and that’s it.

“You must be receiving the correct information from the official source.”

Drivers have more responsibility to watch out for people cycling, walking or riding horses under the new rules
Drivers have more responsibility to watch out for people cycling, walking or riding horses under the new rules

“It’s a recipe for disaster”

Phil Jones of Go Learn 2 Drive, believes the new rules will cause more problems for road users, especially cyclists.

He explained: “I think overall the number of collisions involving cyclists is going to increase.

“As a driving instructor, we train people to be aware of cyclists and other vulnerable road users, but they also have to take some responsibility for themselves.

“But I think if they drive on the roads they should be insured, it should be mandatory and they should also have some type of formal training like all other road users.”

One of the new rules encourages cyclists to ride in the middle of the lane on quiet roads and away from the curb on busy roads.

Phil said he thought this change, in particular, was a “recipe for disaster”.

He said: “As for that riding in the middle of the road, all it’s going to do is cause traffic chaos.”

North Wales driving instructors react to new traffic rules
Driving instructor Phil Jones thinks new rules are a ‘recipe for disaster’

“Learner drivers are usually quite nervous around cyclists because they are unpredictable, so they are already scared and I think that will only make people even more nervous about it.

“I can see this is going to cause problems as the general level of driving here is appalling.

“And that’s going to make drivers frustrated and overtaking them when it’s not safe to overtake and that’s going to cause more road rage.”

Phil, who teaches pupils around Rhyl and Abergele, said he believed the problems would be caused by more experienced drivers rather than learners.

He said: “We teach learner drivers to anticipate what’s going to happen next. The problem is that people who have already passed their tests won’t bother to check what the changes are.”

Some have already called for the new traffic rules to be scrapped
Some have already called for the new traffic rules to be scrapped

“I have no problem with that”

Robert Collins, of Drive Passed Driving School, said he was not concerned about the changes as they had not impacted his students.

He explained: “I have no problem with it and my students are doing quite well.

“It’s not that different from what I’ve always taught anyway, so it’s not a big deal for me and my students.

“I think it’s small changes that don’t make a big difference to be honest with you.”

Motorists want traffic changes to be scrapped
Cyclists have priority under new traffic rules

“I think it will cause a lot of accidents and a lot of problems”

However, Maxine Richards of Rhyl-based driving school Alloys thinks the new rules will cause “a lot of problems”.

Maxine said: “I think it’s silly, I don’t know why they changed it.

“I think it’s going to cause a lot of accidents and a lot of problems for us instructors.

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“We’re getting a lot of road rage against us anyway, with no new rules that the general public mostly ignores.

“I’ve seen a video from another instructor before where a student following the new rules stopped for a pedestrian but the driver behind tried to pass him and almost drove straight into a lady with a pram.

“It will cause a lot of problems.

What do you think of the changes to the Highway Code? Let us know in the comments section below.