Employer responsibilities on Highway Code updates

As of the 29 January 2022, 50 rules have been added or updated in the Highway Code which apply to England, Scotland and Wales, including a new risk-based ‘hierarchy of road users’.

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, employers have a duty to manage occupational road risks as part of their wider management responsibilities. Communicating the updates to the Highway Code, and having an up to date Workplace Transport Risk Assessment and Policy in place are highly recommended.

One of the most important updates to the Highway Code is the placing of more responsibility on the drivers of larger vehicles to look after more vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. Other key updates include:

  • There is now a strict hierarchy of who should generally give way to who, with pedestrians at the top followed by cyclists, horse riders, motorcyclists cars, and good vehicles last.
  • A pedestrian waiting to cross a side road has priority and other traffic should give way.
  • People driving, riding a motorcycle or cycling are required to give way to people on a zebra crossing and people walking and cycling on a parallel crossing.
  • Leaving at least 1.5 metres (five feet) when overtaking people cycling at speeds of up to 30 mph, and giving them more space when overtaking at higher speeds.

Work-related road traffic accidents are a significant cause of preventable death and injury, so it is highly recommended that these updates are communicated to all workers.

For support with managing occupational road risks, or to find out more about our Workplace Transport Risk Assessment services, contact us today.

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