The changes follow a public consultation on a review of the Highway Code to improve road safety for people who walk, cycle and ride horses. It ran from July to October 2020 and received over 20,000 responses from the public, businesses and other organizations. Most of the people who responded were in favor of all the changes.
The changes were made to the Highway Code on Saturday January 29, 2022.
Here are 8 of the changes you need to know about.
1. Road user hierarchy
The introductory section of the Highway Code has been updated to include 3 new rules regarding the new “Road User Hierarchy”.
The hierarchy places the road users most at risk in the event of a collision at the top of the hierarchy. This does not remove the need for everyone to behave responsibly.
It is important that all road users:
- know the rules of the road
- are considerate of other road users
- understand their responsibility for the safety of others
The 3 new rules are numbered H1, H2 and H3.
2. People crossing the road at junctions
The updated code clarifies that:
- when people are crossing or waiting to cross at an intersection, other vehicles must give way
- if people have started to cross and traffic wants to enter the road, the people crossing have the right of way and the traffic must give way
- people driving, on motorcycles or on bicycles must yield to people on a zebra crossing and to people on foot and on bicycles on a parallel crossing
A parallel crossing is similar to a zebra crossing, but includes a cycle path along the black and white stripes.
3. Walk, cycle or ride in shared spaces
The code contains new guidelines on routes and shared spaces for people walking, biking and horseback riding.
People who ride bicycles, horseback or drive a horse-drawn vehicle must respect the safety of people circulating in these spaces, but people circulating must also take care not to obstruct or endanger them.
Cyclists are requested to:
- do not pass people walking, riding horses, or driving a horse-drawn vehicle near or at high speed, especially from behind
- slow down if necessary and let passers-by know they are there (for example, by ringing their bell)
- remember that people walking may be deaf, blind or partially sighted
- do not pass a horse on the left of the horse
4. Positioning on the road by bike
There is updated advice for cyclists on their positioning, including:
- ride in the center of their lane on quiet roads, in slower traffic and when approaching intersections or road narrowings
- stay at least 0.5 meters (just over 1.5 feet) from the edge of the kerb (and farther where safer) when riding on busy roads with faster moving vehicles than them
People are cycling in groups
The updated code explains that people riding bikes in groups:
- must take into account the needs of other road users when riding in a group
- can ride 2 abreast – and it can be safer to do so, especially in larger groups or when accompanying children or less experienced riders
Cyclists are urged to be aware of people driving behind them and to allow them to pass (for example, single file or stopping) when it is safe to do so.
People on bicycles passing parked vehicles
The updated code explains that cyclists must:
- be careful when passing parked vehicles, leaving enough space (width of a door or 1 meter) to avoid being hit if a car door is open
- watch out for people walking in their path
5. Passing by car or bicycle
There are up-to-date guidelines on safe overtaking distances and speeds for people driving or driving a motorcycle when overtaking vulnerable road users, including:
- allow at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) when passing cyclists at speeds up to 30 mph, and give them more space when passing at higher speeds
- pass people on horseback or drive horse-drawn vehicles at speeds under 10 mph and leave at least 2 meters (6.5 feet) of space
- leave at least 2 meters (6.5 feet) of space and maintain a slow speed when passing people walking on the road (for example, where there is no sidewalk)
Wait behind them and do not overstep if it is unsafe or impossible to meet these clearances.
Cyclists passing slower or stationary vehicles
The updated code confirms that cyclists can overtake slower or stationary traffic on their right or left.
They should proceed with caution as drivers may not be able to see them. This is particularly important:
- approaching crossroads
- to decide if it is safe to pass trucks or other large vehicles
6. Cyclists at crossroads
The code has been updated to clarify that when turning onto or exiting a secondary road, cyclists must yield to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross.
There is new advice regarding new special facilities for bicycles at certain junctions.
Some intersections now include small bicycle lights at eye level, which may allow cyclists to travel separately or ahead of other vehicles. Cyclists are encouraged to use these facilities where they make their journey safer and easier.
There are also new guidelines for cyclists at junctions without separate facilities.
The code recommends that cyclists proceed as if driving a vehicle when there are no separate cycling facilities. This includes positioning himself in the center of the chosen lane, where he feels able to do so safely. It is :
- make them as visible as possible
- avoid being overtaken where it would be dangerous
People on bicycles turn right
The code now includes advice for cyclists using junctions where signs and markings tell them to turn right in 2 steps. These are:
- step 1 – when the traffic lights turn green, go straight to the place marked with a bicycle symbol and turn the arrow on the road, then stop and wait
- stage 2 – when the traffic lights on the other side of the junction (now facing the cyclists) turn green, complete the maneuver
Cyclists have priority when going straight at intersections
The code specifies that when cyclists are riding straight through a junction, they have priority over traffic waiting to enter or exit a secondary road, unless traffic signs or markings indicate otherwise. .
Cyclists are advised to watch out for people riding with the intention of crossing their path, as people driving ahead may not be able to see them.
7. People riding bicycles, riding horses and driving horse-drawn vehicles on roundabouts
The code has been updated to clarify that people riding or driving a motorbike must give way to people riding bikes on roundabouts. The new guidelines will tell people who drive and/or operate a motorcycle should:
- do not attempt to pass cyclists in that person’s lane
- allow cyclists to cross their path when traveling around the roundabout
The code already explained that people who cycle, ride horses and drive a horse-drawn vehicle can stay in the left lane of a roundabout when they intend to continue through or around the roundabout. .
Advice has been added to explain that drivers should take extra care when entering a roundabout to ensure they do not cross cyclists, horses or horse-drawn vehicles continuing around the roundabout -point in the left lane.
8. Parking, charging and leaving vehicles
The code recommends a new technique when exiting vehicles. It is sometimes called the “Dutch Reach”.
When drivers or passengers of a vehicle are able to do so, they must open the door using their hand on the side opposite the door they are opening. For example, using his left hand to open a door on his right.
This will make them turn their heads to look over their shoulder behind them. They are then less likely to injure:
- people riding bicycles or motorbikes passing on the road
- people on the sidewalk
Use an electric vehicle charging station
For the first time, the code includes guidance on the use of electric vehicle charging stations.
When using one, people should:
- park close to the charging station and avoid creating a tripping hazard for people walking on trailing cables
- post a warning sign if you can
- Carefully route cables and charging connectors to minimize danger to others and avoid creating an obstacle for other road users
Discover all the changes
A total of 10 articles of the Highway Code have been updated, with 50 rules added or updated.
You can find a summary of all the changes in the list of traffic updates on GOV.UK.
keep 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 code rules are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules, you are committing a criminal offense.
If you don’t follow the other rules of the code, it can be used as evidence in legal proceedings to establish liability.
The full updated version of the Highway Code is available free of charge from GOV.UK.
You can pre-order an updated version of The Highway Code book online now and buy a copy at most high street bookstores from April 2022. It has a new cover design so it’s easy to read. to acknowledge.
You can also download The Highway Code iOS app. An Android version is under development.
Other ways to stay up to date
To stay informed, you can also: