The Highway Code is set to change on January 29, with eight new rules being introduced as well as 49 updates to existing rules.

Among the changes is a new ‘Hierarchy of Road Users’ that will prioritise vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians.

This puts more responsibility on the drivers of larger vehicles to look after more vulnerable road users.

HeraldScotland:

This principle applies most strongly to drivers of large goods and passenger vehicles, vans/minibuses, cars/taxis and motorcycles.

Rule H1 also says that cyclists and horse riders have a responsibility to look after pedestrians. It also stresses that all road users have responsibility to ensure their own safety, as well as that of others.

Rule H2 states that drivers, motorbike riders, horse riders and cyclists at a junction should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which or from which you are turning. Cyclists also have to give way to pedestrians on shared use cycle tracks.

HeraldScotland:

This next update is aimed at drivers and motorcyclists and states: ‘You should not cut across cyclists, horse riders or horse drawn vehicles going ahead when you are turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane.’

"You shouldn’t turn at a junction if doing so would cause a cyclist or horse rider to stop or swerve. Instead, you’re advised to wait for a safe gap before turning in."

Cyclists are also now advised to ride in the centre of their lane to make themselves more visible on quiet roads and in slow moving traffic, or on the approach to junctions when it would be unsafe for a vehicle to overtake.

HeraldScotland:

The highway code can be used in court to establish liability in the event of an accident under the Road Traffic Act. This includes rules which say ‘should/should not or do/ do not.’

If you are found to be at fault in an accident as a result of not complying with the Highway Code, you may face charges in court.