What are the changes to the Highway Code coming in 2022?
The Highway Code has been updated and new rules come in to force on 29 January 2022.
The main focus will be introducing a risk-based hierarchy which gives priority to vulnerable road users. This means that those road users who pose the greatest risk to others have a higher level of responsibility. So, a cyclist will have a greater responsibility to look out for pedestrians. While someone driving will have a greater responsibility to look out for people cycling, walking or riding a horse.
Some of the changes to the code are that drivers should:
- Give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which or from their vehicle is turning;
- Should not cut across cyclists or horse riders going ahead when turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane, to prevent ‘left hook’ collisions;
- Should open car doors using the ‘Dutch reach’ method, with the hand on the opposite side to the door they are opening. This will mean drivers turn their heads to look over their shoulders and reduces the likelihood of hitting passing cyclists with their doors;
- Should leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists at speeds of up to 30mph and giving more space when overtaking at higher speeds;
- Should allow at least 2 metres space and keep to a low speed when passing a pedestrian who is walking in the road (e.g. where there is no pavement);
- Should take extra care and give more space when overtaking motorcyclists, cyclists, horse riders, horse drawn vehicles and pedestrians in bad weather (including high winds) and at night;
- Should wait behind the motorcyclists, cyclists, horse riders, horse drawn vehicles and pedestrians and not overtake if it is unsafe or not possible to meet these clearances;
- Should give priority to cyclists on the roundabout as they will be travelling more slowly than motorised traffic. Plenty of room should be given and no attempts to overtake them should be made within their lane. Allow cyclists to move across their paths as they travel around the roundabout.
It also advises cyclists to give way to pedestrians on shared-use cycle tracks and to horse riders on bridleways, to slow down when necessary and let them know you are there, for example by ringing your bell or calling out politely.
If you have an enquiry regarding the changes to the Highway Code or are a vulnerable road user who has been involved in a road traffic accident, please call our experienced team of solicitors on 01202 525333 or email Emily.Ferris@ellisjones.co.uk for a free specialist consultation.