Highway Code Changes You Should Know About
There are major changes to the Highway Code coming into force at the end of January 2022. Hadn’t heard about it? You’re not the only one. The AA carried out a survey of its members in December and found that only 1 in 3 drivers were aware of the new rules. As the aim of the changes is to make the roads safer, the Country Vehicles team has put together a brief guide to the Highway Code changes to look out for.
Overview of Highway Code Changes
The new rules recognise that drivers need to be aware of the responsibility they bear towards more vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians. Equally, cyclists need to be aware of their responsibility towards pedestrians.
The 2022 changes are grouped under the umbrella title: Hierarchy of Road Users. This means that those who can do the most harm on the road “have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to other road users.”.
6 New Rules for Drivers and Cyclists
Anyone using the road should be aware of acting responsibly towards other road users. However, drivers and cyclists are, on the whole, more likely to cause injury to pedestrians than the other way around. For this reason, the rules focus on safeguarding those who are considered more vulnerable.
- Drivers should give way to pedestrians who are waiting to cross, or are crossing, a road into which their car is turning. It is not the responsibility of the pedestrian to step back to the kerb or run to avoid a turning car.
- Drivers are now legally required to stop for pedestrians or cyclists at Zebra Crossings or parallel crossings. Pedestrians and cyclists have priority, therefore.
- Drivers should not cut across cyclists or horses when turning at a junction or changing lane. This aims to avoid collisions or injury caused by the ‘left hook collision’ when drivers ‘cut’ cyclists/horses.
- Cyclists should give way to pedestrians when riding on a shared use cycle track. They should also slow down and use their bell to let pedestrians know that you are advancing on them.
- Drivers should allow at least 1.5 metres between cyclists and their vehicle when overtaking at speeds up to 30mph. If overtaking at a higher speed, a greater distance is required.
- Drivers should use the ‘Dutch Reach’ method when opening their car doors onto the road. Rather than using the hand closest to the door, you use your other hand. This forces you to swivel your upper torso and look over your shoulder for cyclists.
Key Takeaways for Drivers
The ‘Hierarchy of Responsibility’ and changes to junction priority require drivers to change their behaviour, and there are legal consequences for those who don’t. These Highway Code changes come into force on 29th January 2022, and it’s well worth taking a look at the UK Government summary before then.
About Country Vehicles in Shefford
At Country Vehicles we work with drivers to maximise the safety of all road users. One of the ways we do that is by providing a range of garage services in Shefford, South Bedfordshire which allows local customers to maintain the roadworthiness of their vehicles. These include car servicing, MOTs, and car repairs.
If you would like to book your car in locally for an MOT, service, or repair at Country Vehicles in Shefford call us on 01234 381555, contact us online, or simply call in.