In the past few weeks, you might have spotted a few articles popping up on your timelines or in your newspaper about changes to the highway code.
These changes are due to come into action later this year, though an official implementation date has not yet been announced.
Announced earlier this month the changes will amend the hierarchy of road users, putting more responsibility on the road users who have the potential to be the most dangerous. This means that drivers of cars, vans and other motor vehicles will have the burden of responsibility and a duty to give way to other road users more than they currently do.
Under current rules motorists only have to stop for pedestrians when they step onto a crossing, however the proposed changes will give greater priority to pedestrians at junctions and crossings.
It will also give cyclists priority on the road when they are travelling straight ahead at a junction. We recommend all drivers give plenty of space to cyclists as it is, especially at junctions where they may need to come into the centre of the lane.
These changes will help give vulnerable road users more priority on the roads to help keep them safer.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has advised they will also be adding £338 million in funding to boost cycling and walking. This will help sustain the activity levels that many achieved during the pandemic and make these modes of travel safer and a more viable choice for more people, also helping the government with their plans for a carbon-neutral company by 2050.
These plans include paying for making improvements to the National Cycle Network, building more cycle lanes on UK roads
There are many health benefits to more active modes of travelling like walking or cycling but we know that it’s not always practical, especially when you’re in a time crunch or have a long distance to cover. This is why we think it’s important that you are aware of the changes to the highway code that affect all road users no matter what method of travel you are opting for.
Changes to the highway code will also include guidance on safe distances and speeds for motorists when they are passing cyclists to improve best practices of drivers.
For more tips on driving around other vehicles then take a look at this article.
Drivers in Northern Ireland will not be affected by this change as they have their own version of the code.