Motorists oppose Highway Code safety proposals

Almost two-thirds of drivers surveyed disagreed with idea of giving cyclists and pedestrians priority over cars.

Highway Code Hierarchy Survey

New research has found that car drivers are substantially against proposed changes to the Highway Code.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is currently running a consultation on a number of potential alterations to the Highway Code, aimed at improving safety

At the heart of the changes is the idea of a new road hierarchy. This would give vulnerable users like pedestrians, cyclists, and horse riders priority over motorists.

Highway Code Hierarchy Survey

Research carried out by insurance company Admiral found that less than one-third (30 percent) of drivers agreed with the hierachy suggestion. Instead, those asked believed that all road users should remain equally ranked in the eyes of the Highway Code. 

Somewhat unsuprisingly, close to two-thirds (60 percent) of cyclists believed that they, along with pedestrians and horse riders, should always be given an automatic right of way over motorists. 

The survey also revealed that 60 percent of car drivers did not believe cyclists should be given priority at junctions. In addition, 1 in 4 motorists believe they deserve priority at junctions if they get there first.

Highway Code Hierarchy Survey

Although not included in the DfT consultation, Admiral also asked questions about whether cyclists should be insured. 

Three-quarters (75 percent) of all road users answered that third party insurance should be mandatory for cyclists. Car drivers (79 percent) favoured this idea marginally more than cyclists (60 percent) in the survey. 

The study also unearthed worrying gaps in knowledge of the Highway Code. One in five cyclists believed riding on the pavement was legal, whilst 16 percent were unaware of the need to have lights fitted to a bike to ride at night. 

Members of the public have until midnight on 27th October 2020 to share their own views on the DfT consultation.


Do speed cameras still need painted road markings?

Volkswagen ID.3 prices to start from under £30k

Jess Hawkins to be second female BTCC racer of 2020

Related Articles

John Redfern
U.S. Editor with a love of all things Americana. Woodgrain-clad station wagons and ridiculous muscle cars a speciality.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Polestar 1 (2020) review

The Polestar 1 is a 600hp carbon-bodied plug-in hybrid designed to get this new brand noticed. Are you paying attention yet?

‘Shocking’ rise in drivers caught speeding during lockdown

Government data released today shows that the first lockdown led to a ‘shocking’ rise in the number of drivers exceeding the speed limit.

Ford Focus ST (2019) review

The Ford Focus ST edges closer to RS performance with 280hp, adaptive dampers and a Track mode. Does it share the smaller Fiesta's brilliance?

Volvo creates ‘ultimate driving simulator’ to boost safety

Volvo's ‘ultimate driving simulator’ uses gaming technology to develop safer cars. It blurs the line between simulation and reality.

Find a Car Review