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The Highway Code has been updated so pedestrians and cyclists now have priority over cars

·1-min read
Photo credit: Maskot - Getty Images
Photo credit: Maskot - Getty Images

New changes to the Highway Code will give pedestrians and cyclists priority over cars at junctions and crossings, the UK government has announced. 

While the revised code is still awaiting parliamentary approval, it's expected to come into effect this autumn in England, Wales and Scotland, offering greater protection to anyone walking or cycling alongside busy roads.   

"The Highway Code currently treats children walking to school and lorry drivers as if they are equally responsible for their own or other people's safety," Stephen Edwards, interim CEO of the charity Living Streets, told Positive News.  

"These changes will redress that balance. Whether we choose to also drive or cycle, we are all pedestrians. These proposed revisions will benefit us all."

Photo credit: DGLimages - Getty Images
Photo credit: DGLimages - Getty Images

The new code will not go as far as "presumed liability", where drivers are expected to be at fault in collisions with pedestrians and cyclists unless proved otherwise. Despite offering greater protection, these changes have been criticised by the Alliance of British Drivers, who argue that road safety should be a shared responsibility. 

With more Brits walking and cycling during the pandemic, The Department of Transport explained that this overhaul will help sustain and encourage anyone looking to be more eco-friendly with their travel choices. 

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