The Highway Code is receiving some important updates on 29th January 2022 so here is a list of the 8 changes that all drivers, cyclists and pedestrians need to know.
1. Hierarchy of road users
The introduction section of The Highway Code will be updated to include 3 new rules about the new ‘hierarchy of road users’.
The hierarchy places those road users most at risk in the event of a collision at the top of the hierarchy. It does not remove the need for everyone to behave responsibly.
It’s important that all road users:
2. People crossing the road at junctions
The updated code will clarify that:
A parallel crossing is similar to a zebra crossing, but includes a cycle route alongside the black and white stripes.
3. Walking, cycling or riding in shared spaces
There will be new guidance in the code about routes and spaces which are shared by people walking, cycling and riding horses.
People cycling, riding a horse or driving a horse-drawn vehicle should respect the safety of people walking in these spaces, but people walking should also take care not to obstruct or endanger them.
People cycling are asked to:
4. Positioning in the road when cycling
There will be updated guidance for people cycling about positioning themselves which includes:
riding in the centre of their lane on quiet roads, in slower-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions or road narrowings
keeping at least 0.5 metres (just over 1.5 feet) away from the kerb edge (and further where it is safer) when riding on busy roads with vehicles moving faster than them
People cycling in groups
The updated code will explain that people cycling in groups:
People cycling are asked to be aware of people driving behind them and allow them to overtake (for example, by moving into single file or stopping) when it’s safe to do so.
People cycling passing parked vehicles
The updated code will explain that people cycling should:
5. Overtaking when driving or cycling
You may cross a double-white line if necessary (provided the road is clear) to overtake someone cycling or riding a horse if they are travelling at 10 mph or less (Rule 129).
There will be updated guidance on safe passing distances and speeds for people driving or riding a motorcycle when overtaking vulnerable road users, including:
Wait behind them and do not overtake if it’s unsafe or not possible to meet these clearances.
People cycling passing slower-moving or stationary traffic
The updated code will confirm that people cycling may pass slower-moving or stationary traffic on their right or left.
They should proceed with caution as people driving may not be able to see them. This is particularly important:
6. People cycling at junctions
The code will be updated to clarify that when turning into or out of a side road, people cycling should give way to people walking who are crossing or waiting to cross.
There will be new advice about new special cycle facilities at some junctions.
Some junctions now include small cycle traffic lights at eye-level height, which may allow cyclists to move separately from or before other traffic. People cycling are encouraged to use these facilities where they make their journey safer and easier.
There will also be new guidance for people cycling at junctions with no separate facilities.
The code will recommend that people cycling should proceed as if they were driving a vehicle where there are no separate cyclist facilities. This includes positioning themselves in the centre of their chosen lane, where they feel able to do this safely. This is to:
People cycling turning right
The code will include advice for people cycling using junctions where signs and markings tell them to turn right in 2 stages. These are:
People cycling have priority when going straight ahead at junctions
The code will clarify that when people cycling are going straight ahead at a junction, they have priority over traffic waiting to turn into or out of a side road, unless road signs or markings indicate otherwise.
People cycling are asked to watch out for people driving intending to turn across their path, as people driving ahead may not be able to see them.
7. People cycling, riding a horse and driving horse-drawn vehicles on roundabouts
The code will be updated to clarify that people driving or riding a motorcycle should give priority to people cycling on roundabouts. The new guidance will say people driving and or riding a motorcycle should:
The code already explains that people cycling, riding a horse and driving a horse-drawn vehicle may stay in the left-hand lane of a roundabout when they intend to continue across or around the roundabout.
Guidance will be added to explain that people driving should take extra care when entering a roundabout to make sure they do not cut across people cycling, riding a horse or driving a horse-drawn vehicle who are continuing around the roundabout in the left-hand lane.
8. Parking, charging and leaving vehicles
The code will recommend a new technique when leaving vehicles. It’s sometimes called the ‘Dutch Reach’.
Where people driving or passengers in a vehicle are able to do so, they should open the door using their hand on the opposite side to the door they are opening. For example, using their left hand to open a door on their right-hand side.
This will make them turn their head to look over their shoulder behind them. They’re then less likely to cause injury to:
Using an electric vehicle charge point
For the first time, the code will include guidance about using electric vehicle charging points.
When using one, people should:
Find out about all the changes
In total, 9 sections of The Highway Code will be updated, with 50 rules being added or updated.
You’ll be able to see a summary of all the changes in The Highway Code updates list on GOV.UK from 29 January 2022.
Stay up to date
The Highway Code is essential reading for everyone. It’s updated regularly, so it’s important that everyone reads it - not just learner drivers.
Many of the rules in the code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you’re committing a criminal offence.
If you do not follow the other rules in the code, it can be used in evidence in court proceedings to establish liability.
The full version of The Highway Code is available, free of charge, on GOV.UK. This will be updated on 29 January 2022.
You can pre-order an updated version of The Highway Code book online now, and buy a copy at most high street bookshops from April 2022. It will have a new cover design so it’s easy to recognise.Text here ...