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New hierarchy of road users

New hierarchy of road users

A new ‘hierarchy of road users’ system for the Highway Code will be introduced on January 29 2022. 

The hierarchy means that the road user who can cause the most damage, possesses the greatest responsibility to protect other road users around them. For example, a person driving a car has a greater responsibility to keep the road safe for cyclists and pedestrians. 

Results of a government consultation showed that 78 per cent of respondents were in favour of this new system, with just 18 per cent objecting. 

Additional updates to the Highway Code include more safety precautions for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders, including extra priority at crossings and when turning at junctions. 

This new priority means that drivers should not turn across the path of a cyclist or horse rider who is continuing straight on – ie, drivers should not overtake a cyclist or horse rider shortly before taking a left turn at a junction. 

Bryn Brooker, road safety expert at Nextbase said, “We can expect to see an update to the Highway Code towards coming into effect at the end of January to provide better protection to vulnerable road users such as cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians.

“We want to ensure that motorists are aware of this new set of rules as there are some changes around the hierarchy for road users, pedestrian priorities as well as priority for cyclists and horse riders when cars are turning or at junctions. 

“We recommend that all motorists keep themselves informed with changes to the Highway Code to ensure their safety due to the government putting more pressure on motorists by stating that responsibility lies with “road users who can do the greatest harm.”

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