DRIVERS are being warned about a massive roundabout rule change that comes into force in days.
The new change at the end of January will enforce more responsibility on motorists in a bid to help more people stay safe on the road.
In the new rules, there will be a “hierarchy of road users” in the updated version of the Highway Code.
It’s based on the idea that those who can do the greatest harm – for example, lorry drivers – have the most responsibility on the road.
Pedestrians, and especially children, the elderly and other vulnerable people, will be at the top.
They’ll be followed by cyclists, horse riders, motorcyclists and cars, with vans, HGVs and buses at the bottom.
It’s intended to make it clearer who is at fault in the event of an accident.
Specifically, there will also be extra rules put in place for drivers and cyclists using roundabouts.
Rule 186 says: “You [drivers] should give priority to cyclists on the roundabout. They will be travelling more slowly than motorised traffic.”
“Give them plenty of room and do not attempt to overtake them within their lane. Allow them to move across your path as they travel around the roundabout.
“Cyclists, horse riders and horse drawn vehicles may stay in the left-hand lane when they intend to continue across or around the roundabout and should signal right to show you they are not leaving the roundabout.
“Drivers should take extra care when entering a roundabout to ensure that they do not cut across cyclists, horse riders or horse drawn vehicles in the left-hand lane, who are continuing around the roundabout.”
Currently, it is unknown whether any new punishments such as fines will be introduced for those not abiding by the new priority changes.
Meanwhile, campaigners have warned the government that the new rules have not been promoted widely enough.
Cycling UK’s Duncan Dollimore said: “Many people won’t have read the Highway Code for years so it’s essential that the key changes are clearly explained, with simple, accurate and memorable messages.”
According to The Department for Transport (DfT) the new regulation changes will improve safety for all road users.
Edmund King, AA president, said the update is much needed with more “active travel” being encouraged and a boom in deliveries by people on bicycles.
A DfT spokesman said: “The proposed upcoming changes to the Highway Code will improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders and were announced to national press.
“The department has established a working group of key organisations to ensure that messages about the changes are as widespread as possible and our well-established Think! campaign will continue to ensure all road users are aware both when these changes come into effect and beyond.”