New Highway Code set to prioritise cyclists and pedestrians
A revised set of Highway Code rules are set to be enforced from tomorrow, Saturday 29 January.
The new rules prioritise pedestrians and cyclists in a landmark attempt to make motorists wholly responsible for “reducing the danger they may pose to others”.
The introduction section of The Highway Code will be updated to include 3 new rules about the new ‘hierarchy of road users’.
It now places those road users most at risk in the event of a collision , meaning pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders, at the top of the hierarchy.
Pedestrians are set to be given priority when crossing road junctions, while cyclists will have priority when passing a turning car.
The new rules make it easier for drivers to be prosecuted over accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists.
According to gov.uk, the changes to the Highway Code rules are as follows:
- Drivers of vehicles that can cause the greatest harm in the event of a collision bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger to others.This principle applies most strongly to drivers of HGVs, LGVs, cars/taxis and motorcycles.
Cyclists and horse riders likewise have a responsibility to reduce danger to pedestrians.
- At a junction, drivers, motorcyclists, horse riders and cyclists should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which or from which you are turning.You should give way to pedestrians waiting to cross a zebra crossing (currently you only have to give way if they’re already on the crossing), and to pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross a parallel crossing.
- Motorists should not cut across cyclists, horse riders or horse drawn vehicles going ahead when you are turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane.This applies whether they are using a cycle lane, a cycle track, or riding ahead on the road and you should give way to them.
Do not turn at a junction if to do so would cause the cyclist, horse rider or horse drawn vehicle going straight ahead to stop or swerve.
You should stop and wait for a safe gap in the flow of cyclists if necessary.
It is hoped that in addition to improving road safety for cyclists and pedestrians, the change will also clear up some of the misconceptions surrounding cyclists riding on roads and walkways.
But many have concerns about the new rules.
Speaking via social media, one of our readers said: ” I think there will be a lot of accidents as a result of the new rules! It’s giving cyclists far too much power!”
Do you welcome the changes or could they cause more problems they solve? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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