Safety of non-vehicle road users the focus of proposed Highway Code updates
The Department for Transport (DfT) launched a consultation last week focused on changes to the Highway Code that would see the safety of ‘vulnerable’ road users, including cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders, prioritised.
Proposed changes to the code include:
- introducing a hierarchy of road users which ensures that those road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others
- clarifying existing rules on pedestrian priority on pavements, to advise that drivers and riders should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross the road
- providing guidance on cyclist priority at junctions to advise drivers to give priority to cyclists at junctions when travelling straight ahead
- establishing guidance on safe passing distances and speeds when overtaking cyclists and horse riders.
Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the DfT, said:
‘As well as placing a clear emphasis on responsibility and ensuring that travelling by foot or by bike is safe and convenient, we also wanted to reflect the latest enhancements in cycling infrastructure in the updated Highway Code.
‘It is important that all users of the road are aware of and know how to use the carriageway.’
The consultation accompanies the DfT’s £2bn plan to boost active forms of travel, Gear Change: A bold vision for cycling and walking (access the strategy document here), with submissions open until 27 October 2020. Access the consultation here.