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Do not flash headlights

August 23, 2022

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⚠️Expect The Unexpected⚠️ The Highway Code 📖 is quite clear on the use of Flashing Headlights.  It says:

❗️Rule 110 - Flashing headlights. Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users.

❗️Rule 111 - Never assume that flashing headlights is a signal inviting you to proceed. Use your own judgement and proceed carefully.

Flashing at anyone puts them under pressure and is often interpreted as "Go Now" rather than "You can go first".  This is because of its bright and aggressive nature it says more "get on with it" rather than "take your time".

In 20 years of teaching I have seen this sort of thing happen many times where the learner panics and gets flustered, rushes their feet and stalls.  The aftermath of the stall is usually where the issue happens.

It is really important to keep calm and take your time especially after stalling and make the observations you should have made before the person flashed at you.  If visibility is poor also edge forwards so you can make your own choices and not trust another driver.

The other rules in the Highway Code concern overtaking on Zig Zag lines at Pedestrian Crossings. In the video 2 cars can be seen overtaking a line of traffic and the lead car at a crossing which is keeping the crossing clear not giving way to pedestrians. The Highway Code Rules below mean this is a grey area as the overtaking cars are not overtaking a moving vehicle and the leading car is not giving way to pedestrians but keeping the crossing clear. The Van driver in the video that flashes is also hiding the view of the crossing meaning the two cars that overtake really are taking a big risk.  It's unlikely they will see the light change on one side of the crossing and will not see if there is a pedestrian crossing the road (without using the crossing).  This is what the Highway Code says:

❗️Rule 191 - You MUST NOT park on a crossing or in the area covered by the zig-zag lines. You MUST NOT overtake the moving vehicle nearest the crossing or the vehicle nearest the crossing which has stopped to give way to pedestrians.

❗️Rule 192 - In slow-moving and queuing traffic you should keep crossings completely clear, as blocking these makes it difficult and dangerous for pedestrians to cross. You should not enter a pedestrian crossing if you are unable to completely clear the crossing. Nor should you block advanced stop lines for cycles.

Rule 193 - You should take extra care where the view of either side of the crossing is blocked by queuing traffic or incorrectly parked vehicles. Pedestrians may be crossing between stationary vehicles.

So its really not a good idea to flash headlights at anyone and do not overtake near pedestrian crossings!

Have a read of the Highway Code rules here

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