The Highway Code, including the hierarchy of road users has now been updated (as on 29th January 2022).
A total of 8 new rules have been introduced and 49 existing rules have been updated, impacting all road users.
A Hierarchy of Road Users
The Highway Code’s new ‘Hierarchy of Road Users’, states greater responsibility must be taken by road users, giving priority to vulnerable road users including pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and motorcyclists.
Drivers of vehicles that can cause the greatest harm in the event of a collision bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger to others. For example, this principle applies to drivers of cars, taxis, HGVs, buses, LGVs and motorcycles.
The hierarchy does not remove the need for everyone to behave responsibly.
The guidance for motorists is to pass all horse riders including horse-drawn vehicles at speeds UNDER 10mph alongside allowing at least TWO METRES’ space when passing.
The BHS represented all equestrians as a member of the Highway Code Stakeholders Focus Group and we’d like to extend a special thanks to the team for all of their hard work.
Unsafe speed increases the chances of causing a collision (or being unable to avoid one), as well as its severity. Inappropriate speeds are also intimidating, deterring people from walking, cycling or riding horses.
Horse riders do have the responsibility to reduce danger to pedestrians.
Fresh guidance is also proposed to be set for all cyclists.
- On quieter roads, in slower-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions ride in the centre of a lane
- Reminded they can ride 1 abreast (must be aware of drivers behind then and allow them to overtake if it is safe to do so
Cyclists do have the responsibility to reduce danger to pedestrians.
- Encouraged to adopt the ‘Dutch Reach’. This means opening the door next to them with the opposite hand so they look over their shoulder
- Pass horse riders including horse-drawn vehicles at speeds under 10mph
- Allow at least two metres’ when passing a horse or horse-drawn vehicle
For more details, please visit gov website here.
Rule H2: New priority for pedestrians at junctions
- At a junction, drivers, motorcyclists, horse riders and cyclists should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross the road in which you or from you are turning
- Give way to pedestrians waiting to cross a zebra crossing
- Give way to pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross a parallel crossing
Rule H3: New priority for cyclists when cars are turning
Drivers and motorcyclists should not cut across cyclists, horse riders or horse-drawn vehicles when turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane.
This applies whether using a cycle lane, cycle track or riding ahead on the road – always give way.
You should stop and wait to turn into a junction when safe, therefore wait for a safe gap.