You’re safer with us

Brigade’s guide to

New Highway Code hierarchy

What are the Highway Code changes?

The Highway Code changes will see new rules being introduced 

These changes will see the introduction of a ‘hierarchy of road users’. This means those who are most likely to be seriously harmed, i.e. pedestrians and cyclists, will have greater priority over other road users..

What are the Highway Code changes being introduced?

The Highway Code changes will see new rules being introduced that include drivers being told they must not cut across cyclists going straight ahead, turning into a junction, changing direction or changing lane – making the requirement for vehicle cameras, sensors and alerts on lorries and HGVs to eliminate blind spots and prevent incidents even more of a priority.

What do the Highway Code changes mean to lorry drivers?

As a result of the changes to the Highway Code, lorry drivers will be ranked at the lowest level and, therefore, will have the greatest responsibility towards other road users and are more likely to burden the blame in the event of an incident.

What is the new Highway Code hierarchy?

Pedestrians

will now have priority

Pavements

Parallel crossings

Light controlled crossings when waiting to cross and while crossing

Cyclists

will now have priority

At junctions when travelling straight ahead

When other vehicles are turning across their path

On narrow sections of the road, at road junctions and in slow-moving traffic, cyclists can now ride in the centre of the lane

How can Brigade help?

The introduction of the Highway Code’s road user hierarchy is putting even more pressure on fleet operators to ensure their vehicles are as safe and secure as possible.

Even if you are not driving in Greater London, the approved solutions for the Direct Vision Standard, along with other industry accreditations, such as FORSCLOCS und unser Van Excellence, are ideal templates for mitigating the risks of collisions.

Our mission is to save lives and assist fleet operators and other industries in ensuring their vehicles meet the highest possible safety standards.

We have put together a handy infographic for fleet operators to refer to. This infographic breaks down the Highway Code changes, explaining how these will affect drivers and advises of the most suitable commercial vehicle safety systems to assist companies with reducing the threats posed by vehicle blind spots.

Brigade – you’re safer with us

Our mission is to save lives and assist fleet operators and other industries in ensuring their vehicles meet the highest possible safety standards.

We have put together a handy infographic for fleet operators to refer to. This infographic breaks down the Highway Code changes, explaining how these will affect drivers and advises of the most suitable commercial vehicle safety systems to assist companies with reducing the threats posed by vehicle blind spots.

Highway Code changes 2021

Brigade busts the myths

Will cyclists be ‘in the middle of the road?

One of the myths doing the rounds currently is that cyclists will be allowed to ride in the middle of the road. However, the Highway Code actually states that cyclists should use the centre of the lane they are in – not the middle of the road – on specific occasions. For example, when approaching junctions or while travelling on narrow sections of road, where a car overtaking them would cause danger or while in heavy traffic. While this is a Highway Code change, it is not new. Cyclists have been advised for years to use this travelling position during these circumstances.

Will cyclists be riding two abreast?
The former Highway Code states that cyclists should ‘never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads.’ The latest Highway Code changes have clarified this by stating ‘Cyclists can ride two abreast and it can be safer to do so, particularly in larger groups or when accompanying children or less experienced riders’.
Will cyclists no longer be obliged to use bike lanes?

This isn’t officially a Highway Code change. Rather, it is a clarification of the old Highway Code and now says ‘cyclists may exercise their judgment and are not obliged to use them’

What are the Highway Code changes for pedestrians at crossings?
Good drivers who are about to turn into a junction should always allow pedestrians to cross. Previously the Highway Code said drivers should give priority to pedestrians ‘if they have started to cross’. However, there is a slight update to this in the pedestrians’ favour and the Highway Code changes mean drivers ‘should now give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross’.
Many changes are simply formalising what good drivers should already be doing
One of the new sections of the Highway Code explains the courtesies that should already be part of a driver’s usual actions. These include giving way to vulnerable road users when turning into a junction, such as cyclists or horse riders, if to do so would cause them to have to stop or swerve. Likewise, in slow-moving traffic, drivers should allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross in front of them.
It is the responsibility of everyone to understand the Highway Code changes
Many of the updates are clarifying what good drivers and road users should already be doing and have been part of the Highway Code for many years. It’s not just drivers that need to be considerate. As part of the new Highway Code Hierarchy, cyclists will need to give way to horses and everyone should be careful for pedestrians, particularly children, older people and people with disabilities.