Government Urged To Amend Pedestrian Safety Laws On UK Roads

Government Urged To Amend Pedestrian Safety Laws On UK Roads

The government is being urged by road safety groups to change the UK’s rules on pedestrian safety.

It comes as a result of the EU adopting new pedestrian safety laws through the General and Pedestrian Safety Regulations (GSR) in 2022.

It means that enhanced direct vision in HGVs, automated emergency braking systems and intelligent speed assistance are all a requirement.

The safety group PACTS (Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety) is now calling on the government to adopt the same rules as the EU.

What Does It Mean For Fleet Safety?

The argument that road safety organisations are making is that pedestrian safety measures will benefit both drivers AND pedestrians.

And anything that will help improve fleet safety and the safety of vehicles (and drivers as well as other road users) is always a positive.

Plus, a large portion of the UK’s automotive sector export vehicles to the EU, which means they already need to comply with the requirements for new vehicles that are being exported.

GSR technology is a key component for the future of autonomous and self-driving vehicles, which is a sector that could have a significant impact on fleets and the way they operate in the future.

Currently, though, some drivers are having to pay extra fees to be able to use the new safety features that are standard in the EU, leading to concerns from road safety experts.

And given that much of the new technology was developed and researched in the UK, it’s a peculiar situation that we’re not benefitting from it.

What About Other Road Users?

In 2022, the government launched the ‘Travel Like You Know Them’ campaign, which was aimed at promoting positive driver behaviour towards other road users.

That means pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and anyone else who might be on the road.

It was an indication that they were taking steps to address road safety concerns, particularly following changes to the Highway Code that saw the introduction of ‘risk-based hierarchy’.

This changed the responsibility of drivers to put the onus on motor vehicle drivers to give precedence to vulnerable road users.

Drivers should leave at least 1.5 metres of space when overtaking cyclists at speeds of up to 30mph, as well as giving them more space when overtaking at higher speeds.

Priority should be given to vulnerable road users when turning into or exiting a road at a junction, which is a key change for ALL road users to be aware of.

And these new EU safety measures in vehicles feel like they follow a similar train of thought, if you’ll pardon the pun.

What do you think of the current state of UK road safety? Could the EU regulations have a positive impact on road safety? And is the road safety campaign doing enough to promote positive driver behaviour? Let us know in the comments below…