NEW RULE H1 – How ‘hierarchy of road users’ will see responsibility on those who could cause most harm
Someone driving will have more responsibility to watch out for people cycling, walking or riding a horse, and cyclists will have more responsibility to be aware of pedestrians.
Similar rules now apply at junctions and when passing slow-moving traffic. Drivers turning into a junction are warned not to cross the path of cyclists travelling straight ahead when doing so. They are also told to give cyclists at least 1.5 metres of space when passing them.
The updates also aim to strengthen and clarify rules on who has right of way in a variety of situations.
Drivers and cyclists must now give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross at a junction or zebra crossing. Previously the guidance was only to give way to those already crossing. The rules also make it clear that cyclists must give way to pedestrians on shared-use cycle tracks.
The Department for Transport says the changes are designed to make the roads safer for more vulnerable users but do not mean that pedestrians and cyclists have no responsibility.
It says: “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.”
The new hierarchy looks like this:
- Horse riders
- Large passenger vehicles/heavy goods vehicles