2. new priority for pedestrians at junctions. Drivers should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road.
3. priority for cyclists when cars are turning.
Changes to the Highway Code effective from 29th of January 2022!
New rules for All Road Users; (Drivers, Pedestrians and Cyclists) have been updated in The Highway Code to improve the safety of people walking, cycling, and riding horses.
10 sections of The Highway Code have been updated, with 50 rules being added or updated.
Hierarchy of road users
The government is creating a hierarchy of road users, ranking those who use the road to ensure that those who tend to the greatest harm have the biggest responsibility to reduce the danger they may pose to others.
The new road hierarchy is as follows:
- Horse riders
- Larger passenger vehicles/HGVs
The Department for Transport (DfT) has said that the goal of the new measure is not to give total priority to pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
But to instead promote a more “mutually respectful and considerate culture of safe and effective road use that benefits all users.”
However, it adds that “none of this detracts from the responsibility of all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders, to have regard for their own and other road users’ safety.”
More obvious priority for pedestrians In the 2022 version of the Highway Code, there is more obvious priority for pedestrians – particularly at junctions.
And it lays out exactly where they have the right of way over other road users.
• Drivers, motorcyclists, horse riders and cyclists should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into or from which they are turning into or out of.
• The same rule applies to zebra crossings, and pedestrians and cyclists on a parallel crossing.
• Pedestrians always have priority when on a zebra crossing, on a parallel crossing or at a light-controlled crossing when they have a “green man” signal.
• Cyclists should give way to pedestrians on shared use cycle routes.
Drivers must give priority to cyclists and not cut across
As of January 2022, drivers must give priority and not cut across cyclists when they are turning into or out of a junction, changing direction or lane.
The rule also applies when cyclists are using a designated cycle lane, track or riding ahead of drivers on the road.
Drivers also shouldn’t turn at a junction if doing so would make the cyclist going straight ahead stop riding or swerve to avoid them.
With an average of 2 cyclists killed and 83 seriously injured every week and half of these involving a car, the Highway Code has been updated to reduce collisions between the two.
The new rule, “includes when cyclists are approaching, passing or moving off from a junction, moving past or waiting alongside stationery or slow-moving traffic” as well as “travelling around a roundabout”.
Cyclists should move into the middle of the road
As any road cyclist will know, this advice has been out for a while – but now the Highway Code is making it official.
Cyclists should move into the middle of the road to make themselves more visible on quiet roads or streets – and move left to allow fast vehicles to pass.
Cyclists should also ride in the centre of the road in slow-moving traffic and then move to the left when it picks up again.
And move into the middle when coming up to junctions or road narrowing where overtaking could be unsafe.
Cyclists should also keep at least half a metre away from the kerb and drivers must leave them at least 1.5 metres when driving at speeds of 30mph.
If the vehicle is moving faster than that, drivers should leave even more room to avoid a potential collision.
Please take the time to read the latest updates here: