New Highway Code Rules

Following review, the Highway Code has introduced a risk-based hierarchy of road users, which ultimately aims to improve the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and horse riders, by giving drivers the responsibility of keeping these road users safe when they are using the highway. 

Statistically, the road users who are most likely to be injured in the event of a collision are pedestrians, in particular children, older adults and disabled people.  From 29th January 2022, there will be 3 new Highway Code rules introduced, that have been designed to protect all road users.

Rule H1: Hierarchy of road users

The hierarchy of road users places those road users most likely to be injured in the event of a collision at the top of the hierarchy. 

  • Pedestrians
  • Cyclists
  • Horse riders
  • Motorcyclists
  • Cars/taxis
  • Vans/minibuses
  • Large passenger vehicles/heavy goods vehicles

By creating a hierarchy, each road user will have the responsibility of reducing the danger for the road user or users below them. The Department of Transport says that this will create a ‘more mutually respectful and considerate culture of safe and efficient road use that benefits all users’.

Rule H2: Clearer and stronger priorities for pedestrians

This rule is aimed at drivers, motorcyclists, horse riders and cyclists. The new rule states that when at a road junction, you should give way to pedestrians who are crossing or waiting to cross the road that you are intending to turn into.

Priority should also be given to pedestrians waiting to cross at a zebra crossing.  Cyclists should give way to pedestrians on shared cycle tracks, and they are reminded that only pedestrians, wheelchair users and the drivers of mobility scooters can use the pavement.

Rule H3: Drivers to give priority to cyclists in certain situations

This rule is aimed at drivers and motorcyclists. You should not cut across cyclists, horse riders or horse drawn vehicles going ahead when you are turning into or out of a junction, changing direction or lane, just as you would not turn across the path of another motor vehicle.

This applies whether they are using a cycle lane, a cycle track, or riding ahead on the road, you should give way to them. You should stop and wait for a safe gap in the flow of cyclists if necessary. This includes when cyclists are:

  • Approaching, passing or moving off from a junction
  • Moving past or waiting alongside stationary traffic
  • Travelling around a roundabout

More information can be found here

Law v Guidance

Where Highway Code rules include ‘should’ or ‘should not’, these rules are guidance and not supported by existing laws, but by following the guidance we can ensure that we are all keeping our roads safe for everyone.

How can we help you?

Safedrive, Towergate’s in-house, Fleet Driver Training company, can facilitate an interactive, behavioural group workshops for drivers and employees, focusing on the dangers faced regularly by vulnerable road users such as cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. We can also provide training for towing caravans, helping you to stay safe and drive with confidence. 

For more details, please contact

January 11, 2022

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