Highway Code roundabout change comes into effect in the coming days - here's what you need to know

Campaigners have warned the Government have not promoted the rule changes well enough


A significant roundabout rule change is to due to come into effect in the coming days.

Drivers will see more responsibility placed on their shoulders by the end of this month, to improve road safety.

The new rules, in the latest version of the Highway Code will include a "hierarchy of road users."

The premise of the new rules is that motorists that are capable of doing the greatest harm, such as lorry and truck drivers, will have the most responsibility on the road.

General view of a roundabout sign, London.
General view of a roundabout sign, London.

Children as well as the old and vulnerable pedestrians, are to be at the top of the hierarchy.

HGVs and buses are at the bottom of the hierarchy, below vans, cars, motorbikes, horses and cyclists, in that order.

The purpose of the rule change is to add clarity to who is responsible in the event of an accident.

There are also special new rules for drivers and cyclists on roundabouts.

"You [drivers] should give priority to cyclists on the roundabout. They will be travelling more slowly than motorised traffic, according to rule 186.

"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."

Despite the rule changes, no additional fines have been added to the Highway Code.

According to the Sun, campaigners have warned the government that the rule changes have not been given enough promotion.

"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", said Cycling UK's Duncan Dollimore.

The Sun reported that 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."