New Highway Code Changes to Driving Rules

As of 29th January 2022, the Highway Code has changed some of its rules to allow more vulnerable road users increased protection and rights to the road. Read below for how this will affect you as a driver.

What is the Highway Code?

The highway code is a set of rules that govern the use of public roads. The Highway Code is designed to make the use of public roads safe for all road users and should be thoroughly understood by all road users.

Is the Highway Code law?

The Highway Code is not a legal document, however, the rules outlined should be followed. If you do not follow the Highway Code, you can still be fined.

 

What are the new driving rules?

Hierarchy of road users

The new laws dictate that the most vulnerable road users, most at risk of collision, are placed at the top of the hierarchy. This means cyclists and horse riders now have the same rights as cars on the road.

Rule H2: All road users must give way to pedestrians on zebra and parallel crossings, and cyclists on a parallel crossing.

Rule H3: You should not cut across cyclists, horse riders or horse-drawn vehicles going ahead when you are turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane. This applies whether they are using a cycle lane, a cycle track, or riding ahead on the road and you should give way to them.

Pedestrians crossing roads at junctions

When people are crossing or waiting to cross at a junction, other traffic should give way.

Additionally, if people have started crossing and traffic wants to turn into the road, the people crossing have priority and the traffic should give way

For people driving, riding a motorcycle, or cycling, they must give way to people on a zebra crossing and people walking and cycling on a parallel crossing.

Overtaking when driving

You may cross a double-white line if necessary (provided the road is clear), to overtake someone cycling or riding a horse if they are travelling at 10 mph or less.

  • You must leave at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) when overtaking people cycling at speeds of up to 30mph, and giving them more space when overtaking at higher speeds
  • When passing people riding horses or driving horse-drawn vehicles at speeds under 10 mph, you must allow at least 2 metres (6.5 feet) of space.
  • You must allow at least 2 metres (6.5 feet) of space and keeping to a low speed when passing people walking in the road (such as where there’s no pavement)

Cycling, riding a horse, and driving horse-drawn vehicles on roundabouts

The code has been updated to clarify that people driving or riding a motorcycle should give priority to people cycling on roundabouts. The new guidance says that people driving and/or riding a motorcycle should:

  • Not attempt to overtake people cycling within that person’s lane
  • Allow people cycling to move across their path as they travel around the roundabout

Parking, charging, and leaving vehicles

Where people driving or passengers in a vehicle can do so, they should open the door using their hand on the opposite side to the door they are opening. i.e., using their left hand to open a door on their right-hand side.

This will make them turn their head to look over their shoulder behind them. They’re then less likely to cause injury to:

  • People cycling or riding a motorcycle passing on the road
  • People on the pavement

Using an electric vehicle charging point

For the first time, the code includes guidance about using electric vehicle charging points. If using one, people should:

  • Park close to the charge point and avoid creating a trip hazard from trailing cables for people walking
  • Display a warning sign if you can
  • Return charging cables and connectors neatly to minimise the danger to other people and avoid creating an obstacle for other road users

 

What the Highway Code changes mean for drivers

The new changes should only dictate to drivers to be more vigilant and mindful of other road users. All road users should carefully read the new Highway Code and take caution for more vulnerable road users. Furthermore, the new changes mainly look at slowing down and passing more carefully and should not impact drivers negatively.

 

Keep safe, with extra eyes on the road

All road users have a right to feel safe on the road, but also to maintain safe practice on the roads. The new rules are designed to make using public roads safer, but some things cannot be helped. If you are a road user looking for additional safety when driving, a dashcam can provide you with additional peace of mind and safer driving in the day and at night.

Rest assured, if an accident were to happen, you would have it caught on your dashcam for insurance purposes, police, claims, etc.

We offer front and rear dash cams for extra safety. As well as:

  • Extreme night vision
  • Full HD 1080p
  • GPS logger
  • Built in wi-fi and GPS

According to s study in the UK, 1 in 4 drivers have a dashcam. As such, the MET police have reported around 400 fewer collisions per month, year on year, due to dashcam safety.

Our prerogative is to produce dash camera products that enhance road safety by offering drivers peace of mind. For both budget and high-end options, we have solutions available to help you rest assured that there is always an extra pair of eyes on the road.