Highway Code Proposed Changes To Protect Cyclists and Pedestrians

Statistics show that sadly that 101 cyclists died in 2017 in road traffic accidents. As a personal injury lawyer, it is heart-breaking to act for families who have lost loved ones in an accident which could have been avoided had the driver taken a little more care.

Many of the deaths on the road are vulnerable roads users. They are pedestrians and cyclists. If you have ever been a pedestrian trying to cross the road at night or a cyclist moving along a busy road, you will know how dangerous it can be. Unfortunately, today’s cars are big and powerful and can cause a lot of damage if they hit somebody.

The planned changes are to protect pedestrians and cyclists when going straight on at junctions. This will bring the UK in line with the US who always give pedestrians priority.

According to the Highway Code, rule 170 states that pedestrians have priority “if they have started to cross” but does not state what should happen if someone is about to step off a pavement at the same time a vehicle arrives at a junction.

The proposals include introducing the “dutch reach” method of opening car doors. This means drivers have to open with the left hand, forcing them to turn their body and check for cyclists and pedestrians.

The RAC have welcomed the plans which they say will mean the road space is ‘shared safely’.

Drivers in Germany, Spain and France must leave a 1.5-metre minimum passing distance other than in urban areas where it is 1 metre for French motorists. The UK does not have the same rules.

Any changes that introduce safety and protect those who are likely to be injured on the road are welcome. All road users regardless of size should be treated equally.

If you have been involved in an accident on the road as a cyclist or a pedestrian then contact our Personal Injury Team today on 0161 491 8520.

Ayesha Nayyar

Principal Solicitor


Please enter your details, and we'll call you back!

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Number (required)

Area of Practice