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Four of the biggest Highway Code changes - January 2022

on Tue, 04/01/2022 - 6:14pm

Big changes to the Highway Code are due to come into force at the end of January 2022.

The updated code establishes a hierarchy of road users, which means those who pose the greatest risk to others have a higher level of responsibility. Eg someone cycling will have greater responsibility to look out for people walking, while someone driving will have greater responsibility to look out for people cycling, walking or riding a horse.

Many of the rules in the code are legal requirements, and to disobey these rules is to commit a criminal offence, but some of the changes introduce new advisory measures that are not legal requirements but could be drawn upon in court proceedings.

These include advice that drivers:

  • Should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which or from which 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 makes drivers turn their heads to look over their shoulders and reduces the likelihood of “dooring” a passing cyclist.
  • Should leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists at speeds of up to 30mph, and give them more space when overtaking at higher speeds.