Over 40 changes to the Highway Code came into effect on 29 January 2022, with one of the most fundamental changes being the inclusion of a ‘hierarchy of road users’, designed to place road users in order of potential harm. The update states that ‘those in charge of vehicles that can cause the greatest harm in the event of a collision bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger they pose to others’. With vans and HGVs at the top end of this hierarchy, there’s additional emphasis on the responsibility that sits with the drivers of these vehicles in maintaining safe practices on the roads – something that employers should ensure they communicate to their staff.
Vulnerable road user (or VRU) is a collective term used to describe groups such as pedestrians, cyclists, motor cyclists, horse riders and, more recently, e-scooter riders. Such road users are defined as vulnerable because they lack the physical impact protection and safety features those within a vehicle benefit from. They’re also less visible to drivers, which increases their likelihood of being injured or killed if involved in a road traffic collision. There should also be additional consideration for those who could be most severely injured in an incident – for example children, disabled people and the elderly.
Below is a video link that explains how we can use the roads safely, together. It helps to define what we mean by VRU, highlights some of the key changes that came out of the Highway Code updates earlier this year and looks at the potential impact of being caught using a phone whilst driving.