Taxi drivers call for 'modern' warnings to alert London drivers

Urban warning road signs could soon be coming to the capital to warn against the urban hazards drivers face.

Black cab drivers today called for an overhaul of the “outdated” Highway Code notices to alert motorists to pedestrians oblivious to traffic because they are either texting or wearing headphones.

Hundreds of London cabbies are backing the call for new signs which they say should include “School Run Congestion Zone”, “Warning - Rickshaws Clogging Up Road” and “Craters Ahead” to identify potholes.

Warning: A taxi goes past one of the modern hazard signs Taxi-booking mobile phone app Halio enlisted 500 of its’ 13,500 drivers to identify the most confusing and outdated road signs which make up the Highway Code.

London’s largest network of drivers then spent two months surveying drivers of what was needed to reflect modern driving issues.

One in four cabbies surveyed said heavy headphone user areas should be flagged to warn drivers “of pedestrians who enter a trance-like state when lost in music.”

Caution: A man sending a text message steps off the kerb This echoes findings published last year by Maryland University which found that in the US the number of accidents involving pedestrians wearing headphones had tripled in the preceding six years.

More than half, 58 per cent, believe warning signs for potholed roads should be urgently introduced while 52 per cent want rickshaw warnings across UK cities “because these man-powered vehicles slow down traffic.”

Drivers identified signs they want scrapped as outdated including “Car carrying explosives” which they say this shouldn’t be allowed anyway, also level crossing without a gate or barrier (this includes picture of a steam train, not in general use any more) and a sign warning of ice. Cabbies say a sign cannot tell drivers what the weather is like.

Low awareness: A woman with headphones  Russell Hall, Hailo co-founder and cabbie who carried out the research, said: “Cabbies have their finger on the pulse when it comes to road safety and city happenings. They are an authority on London’s streets - that’s why it’s important that we stop and take the time to reassess road safety and what works for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike to ensure we move with the times.

“The new road signs address modern day life - potholes are a common gripe of all drivers and something to be wary of on all UK roads.

“Similarly, much more attention needs to be paid to cyclists on the road.”

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: “The Highway Code is kept under review and we update it when it is appropriate.

“We increased fines for using mobile phones when driving back in the summer.”

The Evening Standard