The Highway Code’s introduction section has been updated to add 3 new rules regarding the new “hierarchy of road users.”
The hierarchy places those road users at the top of the hierarchy who are most at risk in the event of a collision. It doesn’t make it any less important for everyone to act appropriately.
It’s important that all road users:
- are aware of The Highway Code
- are considerate to other road users
- understand their responsibility for the safety of others
The new rules
It is critical that ALL road users are familiar with the Highway Code, are mindful of other road users, and recognise their responsibility for others’ safety.
When there is a road collision, everyone suffers, whether they are physically hurt or not. Those in control of cars that can do the most damage in the case of an accident, on the other hand, bear the greatest responsibility for exercising caution and minimising the risk they pose to others. Drivers of large cargo and passenger vehicles, vans/minibuses, cars/taxis, and motorbikes are most affected by this principle.
Cyclists, horse riders, and horse-drawn vehicle drivers all have a responsibility to keep pedestrians safe. None of this changes the fact that ALL road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and horseback riders, are responsible for their own and other road users’ safety.
Always keep in mind that the persons you meet may have vision, hearing, or mobility problems that aren’t immediately apparent.
Pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into or out of which you are turning should be given priority at a junction.
On a zebra crossing, you must give way to pedestrians, and on a parallel crossing, you must give way to pedestrians and cyclists (see Rule 195).
When crossing a zebra crossing, a parallel crossing, or a light-controlled crossing with a green signal, pedestrians have priority.
Pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross a zebra crossing, as well as pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross a parallel crossing, should be given priority.
On a zebra crossing, horse riders must yield to pedestrians, as well as pedestrians and cyclists on a parallel crossing.
On shared-use cycling tracks and bridleways, cyclists should give way to pedestrians and horse riders.
The pavement is only for pedestrians. Wheelchair and mobility scooter users are examples of pedestrians.
Pedestrians are allowed to walk on any portion of the road, including cycle tracks and the pavement, unless there are signs banning them.
When turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane, you should not cut over cyclists, horse riders, or horse-drawn vehicles going ahead, just as you would not turn into the path of another motor vehicle. This applies whether they are riding in a bike lane, on a cycle track, or on the road ahead of you, and you must yield to them.
If turning at a crosswalk will force a cyclist, horse rider, or horse-drawn vehicle travelling straight ahead to halt or swerve, do not do so.
If required, you should stop and wait for a safe space in the flow of bikers. This includes situations in which bikers are:
- approaching, going through, or departing from a juncture
- passing through or waiting alongside slow-moving or halted traffic
- Circumnavigating a roundabout