Changes to The Highway Code

In LawOctober 4, 20224 Minutes

Changes to The
Highway Code

From 29 January 2022 new changes have been made to The Highway Code to improve safety for people cycling, walking and riding horses.

Fifty rules have been added or updated placing greater responsibility on drivers to look out for people horse riding, cycling and walking. Here’s what drivers need to know:

Road user hierachy

The Highway Code has introduced a new road user hierarchy with those most at risk, at the top.  It is as follows: Pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders, motorcyclists, cars, LCV’s and HGV’s.

Parking and charging your vehicle

When parking or charging your vehicle, motorists should open the door using their hand on the opposite side to the door they are opening.  This is known as the Dutch Reach and the means the motorist has to turn their head and look over their shoulder before getting out of the vehicle.

Electric vehicle charging

Drivers should park their vehicles close as possible to the charging point to avoid a trip hazard for others. They should also put the cables back as neatly as possible to avoid creating an obstacle for others.

Overtaking cyclists and horse-riders

Motorists must leave at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) between cyclists when overtaking up to 30mph (more the faster a car is travelling).  When passing horse riders or horse drawn vehicles, they must slow down to 10mph and allow a distance of at least 2 metres (6.5 feet).

When passing pedestrians walking in the road (when there’s no pavement), motorists must slow down and allow a distance of 2 metres (6.5 feet) or more.

Road cycling position

On quiet roads, in slow-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions/narrow roads, cyclists should ride in the centre of the road.

On busy roads, cyclists should keep at least 0.5m 1.5 feet) away from the edge of the kerb.

Cyclists need to be considerate to other road users when riding in groups and move into a single file or stop to allow motorists to overtake when it’s safe to do so.  Cyclists should only ride two abreast when it is safe.

When passing a parked vehicle, cyclists should leave a metre between them and the vehicle and look out for pedestrians.

Roundabouts

Motorists must now give priority to cyclists, horse-riders, or horse-drawn vehicles using roundabouts including:

  • They must not overtake/attempt to overtake cyclists, horse-riders or horse-drawn vehicles within a roundabout lane
  • They must allow cyclists, horse-riders, or horse-drawn vehicles to move across their path as they travel around a roundabout

Using junctions

All traffic should give way and allow pedestrians to cross a junction.  If pedestrians have already started to cross a junction pedestrians have priority and can continue to cross.

All traffic must give way to pedestrians on a zebra or parallel crossing.

Where there is no dedicated cycle lane, cyclists are allowed to position themselves in the centre of a chosen lane.

New, eye-level traffic lights for cyclist have been introduced in some places and  if so,  must be adhered to.

Shared spaces

When using shared spaces, cyclists should not pass pedestrians or horse-riders at high speed and make sure they give plenty of space between them.  Whilst pedestrians and cyclists should not pass a horse on their left-hand side.

All users in a shared space must make their presence aware to others (i.e. cyclist should ring their bell) and must consider vulnerable users (i.e., deaf, blind, partially-sighted people).



New Road Safety Regulation

In LawOctober 4, 20221 Minute

New Road Safety Regulation

As from 6th July 2022, it is mandatory that all new cars made in Europe, are fitted with speed limiters.

The regulation has been imposed by the European Commission to improve road safety and means that the GPS in cars will be able to work out what the speed limit is and ensure the car doesn’t break it.

The regulation doesn’t apply to cars already in production prior to 6th July.