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Changes are being made to the Highway Code that will put pedestrians at the top of a new 'road user hierarchy', it has been announced.
For the first time ever, drivers will be told to give way to pedestrians crossing the road, with the onus being placed on motorists to stop.
This will mean that pedestrians will be given right of way at zebra crossings and junctions, and drivers will be reminded of the dangers of speeding.
The proposed overhaul of the rules is set to be passed through parliament later this year.
It forms part of a £338 million ($470m) package from the Department of Transport aimed at getting more people on their bikes or walking rather than using cars and other vehicles.
It's also hoped that it will encourage the public to make 'sustainable travel choices' to make 'air cleaner and cities greener'.
The DfT said the investment would also be used to for a number of upgrades, such as the construction of hundreds of miles of new cycle lanes.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "Millions of us have found over the past year how cycling and walking are great ways to stay fit, ease congestion on the roads and do your bit for the environment.
"As we build back greener from the pandemic, we're determined to keep that trend going by making active travel easier and safer for everyone.
"This £338 million package marks the start of what promises to be a great summer of cycling and walking, enabling more people to make those sustainable travel choices that make our air cleaner and cities greener."
The DfT alos said that the new version would include a 'hierarchy of road users' that ensures that the most dangerous road users, such as those in vehicles, bear the 'greatest responsibility to reduce the danger they may pose to others'.
The announcement has been welcomed by everyday walking charity Living Streets, which says the proposed changes will 'redress the balance' of road user responsibility.
Stephen Edwards, interim chief executive at Living Streets, said: "The Highway Code currently treats children walking to school and lorry drivers as if they are equally responsible for their own or other people's safety.
"These changes will redress that balance.
"People walking cause the least road danger but are often left paying the price.
"Road users who have potential to cause the greatest harm should take the greatest share of responsibility to reduce the danger they pose.
"Whether we choose to also drive or cycle, we are all pedestrians. These proposed revisions will benefit us all."
Back in 2019, several updates were made to the Highway Code.
These saw a host of changes made, with learners allowed to go onto motorways during their lessons, changes to categories used for MOTs and a hike in the diesel car tax.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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