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There are a number of significant changes being proposed to the highway Code (biggest review in years?). From a pedestrian's point of view, the three biggest changes are...
1. Introduce a hierarchy of road users
Rule H1 would be a new addition to the Code, and an important one.
The new hierarchy ensures that those road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose others.
Those driving motor vehicles are at least risk of injury from other travel modes and so have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they post to others.
The hierarchy would be:
The proposed changes are ones that Living Streets has campaigned for for many years.
They reflect the thinking and ideas more broadly of the Walking and Cycling Alliance (WACA), of which Living Streets is a part, alongside the Bicycle Association, British Cycling, Cycling UK, the Ramblers and Sustrans.
During this process, Living Streets’ former Chief Executive Joe Irvin led talks (on behalf of and including WACA partners) with interested organisations – including road safety groups, disability charities and motoring bodies, before presenting agreed WACA proposals to update the Highway Code to the Department for Transport.
Walking is a vital part of our everyday lives, and we are all pedestrians at some point. It is the cleanest, greenest and most accessible form of exercise – and yet pedestrians (followed by cyclists) currently bear the brunt of road casualties.
The latest figures show that there have been increases in pedestrian casualties amongst the most vulnerable groups – children and older adults.
Pedestrians make up a quarter of deaths in road incidents, and almost a quarter (23%) of pedestrian deaths occur at, or within 50m of a crossing.