Changes to the Highway Code

27/01/2022  Useful Information All News

It has been widely publicised this week that there have been changes to the highway code, but what does this actually mean to drivers and what can they expect to see on the roads...

Rule H1. Hierarchy of road users

According to the rules, pedestrians – with particular emphasis on children, older adults and disabled people – are identified as "the most likely to be injured in the event of a collision".

As a result, the law will place more responsibility on drivers to watch out for cyclists, pedestrians or horse riders.

Rule H2. Priorities for pedestrians

At a junction, drivers and motorcyclists must give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross.

Rule H3. Drivers to give priority to cyclists in certain situations e.g., on a roundabout

The new rules urge drivers and motorcyclists to give priority to cyclists when turning in or out of a junction or changing lanes.

Drivers are also encouraged to stop and wait for a safe distance between cyclists at roundabouts or during slow-moving traffic.

Other key amendments include:

  • Clearer guidance for drivers to leave a distance of at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists.
  • Drivers are also encouraged to reduce the risk of an accident by opening their door by using the hand on the opposite side, as it is more likely to lead to them looking over their shoulder. This is known as the Dutch Reach technique.

So what happens if your break the rules?

You may be fined, given penalty points on your licence or be disqualified from driving, this is according to lawyers who also go on to claim that in the most serious cases you may be sent to prison.

The Highway Code may be used in evidence in any court proceedings under the Traffic Acts to establish liability. This includes rules which use advisory wording.

Take note of the above and keep our roads safe for everyone.

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