2022 Highway Code changes

Learning to drive

Did you know that on the 29th January 2022, nine sections of the Highway Code were updated? 50 rules have been added or amended in a bid to improve road safety for cyclists and pedestrians.

Here are the changes you need to know about:

Hierarchy of road users
People facing the greatest risk in the event of a collision - pedestrians and cyclists - will be prioritised above motorists, who have the most responsibility to consider others.

However, the new rules do not "remove the need for everyone to behave responsibly".

Crossing junctions
Motorists and cyclists should give way when pedestrians are crossing or waiting to cross at a junction.

Traffic must give way to people on zebra crossings and also parallel crossings - which include a cycle route alongside the black and white stripes.

Walking, cycling or riding in shared spaces

Cyclists should not overtake pedestrians or horse-riders closely or at high speed in shared spaces.

They should try and alert others of their presence, for example by ringing the bell, and anticipate people could be deaf, blind or partially sighted.

People walking should take care not to obstruct pathways. 

Cyclist positioning
Cyclists should make themselves as visible as possible by riding in the centre of their lane on quiet roads, in slower-moving traffic and when approaching junctions.

The guidance suggests it can be safer to ride "two abreast" or side by side, particularly when accompanying children or people with less experience.

Cyclists should be considerate of other road users particularly when in riding in groups.

The updated code explains they should exercise caution when passing parked vehicles, leaving around 1m to avoid being hit if a car door opens.

Opening car doors
Drivers and passengers should open doors using their hand on the opposite side - for example their left hand to open a door on their right.

The technique, known as the Dutch Reach, encourages people to turn their head and look over their shoulder - reducing the chance of a door opening in the path of others.

Motorists should give priority to cyclists, horse riders and people driving horse-drawn vehicles and should not try to cut across their lane.

Drivers overtaking more vulnerable road users should leave at least 1.5 metres (5ft) when travelling at speeds of up to 30mph.

More space should be given when driving at higher speeds.

At least two metres distance should be left when passing people walking in the road, such as when there is no pavement.

Overtaking cyclists at junctions
Cyclists going straight ahead at a junction have priority over traffic waiting to turn into or out of a side road, unless road markings indicate otherwise.

Charging electric vehicles
Motorists should park as close as possible to public charging points to avoid creating a trip hazard from trailing cables.

More information about the new Highway Code updates.


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