Scotland's Road Safety Framework

Through Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2030 the Scottish Government sets out a vision for Scotland to have the best road safety performance in the world by 2030 and an ambitious long term goal where no one is seriously injured or killed on our roads by 2050.

The Scottish Government has devolved powers over many areas, however the Highway Code is reserved to the UK Government.

A consultation on the rules of the Highway Code with a focus on improving the safety of pedestrians, particularly children, older adults and disabled people, cyclists and horse riders was launched by the Department for Transport (DfT). The consultation ran for 12 weeks and generated a huge response (nearly 21,000) from a range of areas, including government, public and business.

The consultation posed a series of questions, which covered the following 3 changes:

  • introducing a hierarchy of road users to ensure those who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others
  • clarifying existing rules on pedestrian priority on pavements and that drivers and riders should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross the road
  • establishing guidance on safe passing distances and speeds when overtaking cyclists or horse riders, and ensuring they have priority at junctions when travelling straight ahead

A full analysis of all consultation responses received was carried out and, given the feedback received, DfT are seeking to introduce all the proposed changes.

Transport Scotland support the changes to the Highway Code. We are committed to improving road safety for everyone and Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2030, published in February, has a renewed focus on pedestrians and people who cycle, including specific casualty reduction targets for cyclists.

Last year, we confirmed that active travel spending in Scotland would rise to its highest ever level. We’re investing over £500 million over the next five years to support active travel infrastructure. This investment will also support innovative projects that make it easier for people to choose walking, wheeling and cycling for everyday journeys.

You can read the full response to the consultation here;

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-the-highway-code-to-improve-road-safety-for-cyclists-pedestrians-and-horse-riders/outcome/government-response-to-the-review-of-the-highway-code