Motorists may be required to always give way to pedestrians and cyclists when turning, under a shake-up of the Highway Code.

Drivers will also be required to learn the “Dutch Reach” technique for opening car doors to force drivers to look over their shoulder for passing traffic in an effort to reduce the number of cyclists knocked off their bikes by careless drivers.

Other updates being considered include actions to reduce the number of cyclists overtaken too closely by vehicles, and efforts to improve the wider public’s perception of cyclists.

The Department for Transport is considering changing who has priority to boost protection of vulnerable road users going straight on at junctions.

The Dutch Reach technique for opening doors involves people in a car using the hand which is furthest from the handle, encouraging them to check over their shoulder for approaching traffic.

The technique has been in use in the Netherlands for around 50 years.

Cycling and Walking Minister Jesse Norman said: “Cycling and walking are increasingly being understood as crucial parts of an integrated approach to issues of health, obesity, air quality and town and city planning.

“But this will only happen if people feel safe on the roads.

“These measures are part of a steady process of improvement and reform designed to achieve just that.”

Under the proposals, which are being considered as part of a 12-week consultation, cyclists who kill pedestrians could face charges of “death by dangerous cycling” or “death by careless cycling”.

Cycling campaigners have criticised the proposal, saying adding “one or two new offences specific to cyclists would be merely tinkering around the edges”.

Mr Dollimore added: “If the government is serious about addressing behaviour that puts others at risk on our roads, they should grasp the opportunity to do the job properly, rather than attempt to patch up an area of legislation that’s simply not working.”

Read the full news story on the Independent website