New Highway Code is a Potential Headache For Insurers

The latest from the Highways Agency UK, on the much hyped new rules for vulnerable road users – pedestrians and cyclists mainly. But will the changes result in more legal argumanrts over who was to blame? There are tricky times ahead for insurers and claims management specialists. IE’s advice to commuters and delivery drivers is simple; fit a dashcam because you are going to need evidence to defend yourself from those seeking confrontation – and compensation – following a low speed incident.

Broker Direct plc ran a couple of quiz questions on Twitter and found that most users are awar that cyclists need a minimum of 1.5 metres gap when overtaking, and that cyclists and pedestrians will have priority at junctions over cars/lorries etc. As Councils and the UK government have also invested in more cycle lanes over the Covid era, there could be a feeling of more safety amongst cyclists, although infrastructure is still woefully behind the Netherlands, Denmark of Germany.

Bikes are still not truly segregated from bigger vehicles, which is arguably the biggest step forward in safety that any UK, regional or local government could take.

From 29 January rules for all types of road users will be updated in The Highway Code to improve the safety of people walking, cycling and riding horses. As a professional driver or operator, it is vital that you stay up to date with The Highway Code, checking it regularly to understand how changes affect you and your business.

New hierarchy of road users

The changes being made by the Government on 29 January introduce a new ‘hierarchy of road users’. The new hierarchy explains that those in charge 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 they pose to others.

This principle applies most strongly to drivers of large goods and passenger vehicles, cars and motorcycles.

Other more vulnerable road users have a responsibility to reduce danger to people walking . None of this detracts from the responsibility of ALL road users, including people walking, cycling or riding a horse, to have regard for their own and other road users’ safety.

You can read more about these changes on GOV.UK.

About alastair walker 12121 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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