Highway Code Rule Change Giving Cyclists And Pedestrians 'More Priority' Starts Next Week | TOTUM
Ben HaywardJanuary 18th
2022

Road users are being advised to take note of a major rule change to the Highway Code that will see pedestrians and cyclists given greater priority. 

The change, which is due to be implemented on January 29th, will see motorists obliged to give way to cyclists and pedestrians at junctions and on a parallel crossing.

The changes also mean that both drivers and cyclists will have to give way to pedestrians waiting to cross the road into the road they are turning into or from.

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The rules will also establish a ‘hierarchy of road users’ with the aim of making roads safer for the most vulnerable, and the AA has warned that road users should get to grips with the new regulations or risk 'confusion' and ‘dangerous situations’.  

A document published by the Department for Transport says: “The ‘Hierarchy of Road Users’ is a concept that places those road users most at risk in the event of a collision at the top of the hierarchy.  

“The hierarchy does not remove the need for everyone to behave responsibly.

"The road users most likely to be injured in the event of a collision are pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and motorcyclists, with children, older adults and disabled people being more at risk.”

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A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: “The proposed upcoming changes to The Highway Code will improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders and were widely reported when they were announced earlier this year." 

Head of Campaigns for Cycling UK - which has campaigned for the changes to be implemented for ten years - Duncan Dollimore, said earlier this month: “These amendments bring not just much needed clarity on key areas of reducing danger on our roads, such as safe overtaking distances of people walking, cycling or horse riding, but also through the new ‘hierarchy of road users’ [which] challenges the current mindset that ‘might is right’ on our roads. 

“It enshrines in law the need for those who present the most risk on our roads to look out for those who are the most vulnerable. This can only make the roads safer for everyone.

“Over 16,000 people backed the amendments Cycling UK called for when the government consulted on improving the Highway Code for vulnerable road users in 2020.

“Today we’re seeing many of these a step closer to becoming a reality, and we commend the Department for Transport for listening and making these important changes.” 

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