How Should You Negotiate A Traffic Light Controlled Junction That Has An Advanced Stop Zones For Cyclists?
Cyclists can be a confusing hazard on the road, especially so for new drivers. There are many myths about the rights of cyclists and the rules they must follow, so we aim to lay out the facts so that you know precisely what to do and how to treat cyclists as you meet them on the roads.
This is what you should do when at a traffic light controlled junction that has an advanced stop line for cyclists.
A cyclist has the same rights as any other vehicle on the road. It is a myth that they must stay within a metre of the kerb and it is untrue that they are not allowed to cycle in the middle of a lane or ride two abreast.
There are specialist cycle lanes for people riding bicycles to make use of, but it is also important to understand that they are under no obligation to do so. One of the few rules that is different for cyclists than drivers is that they may use bus lanes. Otherwise, all rules that apply to drivers apply to cyclists.
Driving near cyclists
Cyclists can be just as responsible, and just as irresponsible, as drivers. Therefore, as a new driver, you should always drive defensively and expect the unexpected. It is also important to keep checking mirrors, as cyclists are much less visible than cars, meaning they can feel like they appear from nowhere.
You should give cyclists as much room as possible when overtaking. While, as a new driver, you may be nervous overtaking a cyclist, it may be necessary to keep the flow of traffic. Only overtake when it is safe to do so, and voice your concerns with your instructor who can offer their advice. Just make sure to follow Highway Code Rule 163 which says you must give at least one car’s width when overtaking a cyclist.
Traffic lights and cyclists
At normal traffic lights, make sure you stop before the white line. Cyclists should follow the same rules and should stay in the queue of traffic, but they may come alongside you, or stop in front. Make sure to allow them more time to set off, and be careful overtaking when you get the chance.
Some traffic lights will have an advanced stop area for cyclists. You must not enter this zone; it is reserved for cyclists only. Even motorbikes and scooters are not allowed to enter these zones. It is important to stop beforehand, as these zones are created to give cyclists a place to gather, remain safe from incoming traffic, and to set off ahead of other vehicles.
While it may be tempting to enter the zone, you will be breaking the Highway Code and may also put cyclists’ lives in danger, as they struggle to find a safe space to stop. Do this in a test and you will fail.
Cyclists have every right to be on the road, and many drivers are cyclists too. Make sure you drive safely around cyclists and never stop within advanced stop zones for cyclists at traffic light controlled junctions.