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NEWS: CHANGES TO HIGHWAY CODE - 2022

It’s important to be aware of any changes to avoid fines or penalty points. We’ve put together a quick guide for 3 main changes expected in early 2022. Subject to Parliament approval these will come into effect from 29th January 2022.

Changes to the highway code happen quite often, but it's important to be aware of any changes to avoid fines or penalty points. We've put together a quick guide for three main changes expected in early 2022. Subject to Parliamentary approval these will come into effect from 29th January 2022.

H1 – HIERACHY OF ROAD USERS

This change has been in the works for some time but is expected to be one of the key changes to the Highway Code in 2022. Essentially, it ensures that the road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce danger or threat to other road users.

According to gov.uk:

The objective of the hierarchy is not to give priority to pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders in every situation, but rather to ensure a more mutually respectful and considerate culture of safe and effective road use that benefits all users

The concept doesn't remove the need for everyone to behave responsibly, but it does mean that road users who are in charge of vehicles which can cause the greatest harm in the event of a collision, bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger they pose to others.

For example, large goods and passenger vehicles (HGVs & LCVs) would be at the top of the hierarchy as they will pose the highest risk to other road users, followed by vans/minibuses, cars/taxis, and motorcycles. Non-mechanised road users will also be part of this hierarchy, so cyclists, horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles will have a responsibility to reduce danger to pedestrians.

H2 – NEW PRIORITY FOR PEDESTRIANS AT JUNCTIONS

This is a major change to the highway code as it gives pedestrians right of way over road users when crossing at a junction.

This new rule applies to drivers, motorcyclists, horse riders and cyclists. At a junction, you should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which you are turning.

This new rule also includes road users giving way to pedestrians waiting at a zebra crossing (the current rule is only to give way if they are already crossing), and to pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross a parallel crossing

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H3 – PRIORITY FOR CYCLISTS WHEN CARS ARE TURNING

Just as you wouldn't turn across the path of another motor vehicle, this rule now also extends to cyclists regardless of whether the cyclists are using the road, a cycle lane, or cycle track.

You should stop and wait for a safe gap in the flow of cyclists if necessary. This includes when cyclists are:

  • approaching, passing or moving off from a junction
  • moving past or waiting alongside stationary or slow-moving traffic
  • travelling around a roundabout

More information and other possible changes can be found at gov.uk.


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