Major Highway Code changes to launch within weeks – drivers must give priority to cyclists

Lincolnshire: Cyclist clashes with motorist over Highway Code

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The Government announced that the shake-up of driving laws would be coming on January 29, 2022, after plans were first announced earlier this year. From that date, pedestrians and cyclists will be given priority over motorists at junctions following a public consultation.

The Department for Transport said a majority of people supported its moves and would be taking the responses from the public consultation in the shaping of the Highway Code changes.

The changes will introduce a hierarchy of road users which ensure that those road users who can do the greatest harm have the responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others.

This will be known as Rule H1 and the DfT states: “The objective of the hierarchy is not to give priority to pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders in every situation.

“But rather to ensure a more mutually respectful and considerate culture of safe and effective road use that benefits all users.”

Rule H2 will create clearer and stronger priorities for pedestrians, particularly at junctions, and clarify where pedestrians have right of way.

The third rule, H3, places a requirement on drivers to give priority to cyclists when they are turning into or out of a junction, or changing direction or lane, just as they would to other motor vehicles.

This new rule means drivers in traffic planning to turn either left or right into side-roads, must give way to cyclists overtaking them on either side.

The aim of the Highway Code is to promote safety on the road, whilst also supporting a healthy, sustainable and efficient transport system.

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Following the change in 2022, the Highway Code will prioritise the concept of a “hierarchy of road users”.

It says: “The ‘Hierarchy of Road Users’ is a concept which places those road users most at risk in the event of a collision at the top of the hierarchy.

“The road users most likely to be injured in the event of a collision are pedestrians, in particular children, older adults and disabled people, followed by cyclists, horse riders and motorcyclists.

“The hierarchy does not remove the need for everyone to behave responsibly. The following H (H1, H2 and H3) rules clarify this concept.”

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