Changes To The Highway Code
Depending on final parliamentary approval, changes to the highway code will be added on January 29th, 2022. The planned updates are to help prioritise vulnerable road users, in particular, pedestrians and cyclists. If approved by parliament the new rules will be added to the highway codes existing rules.
Revisions to the highway code will result in motorists being officially relegated in the pecking order on British roads. The new rule labeled ”hierarchy of responsibility” puts pedestrians at the top of the list before working its way down to the most lethal road users.
Hierarchy Of Responsability
- Horse Riders
Here’s a look at some of the changes that will affect learner drivers not just on driving lessons but also during the driving test.
Rules For Pedestrian Priority On Pavements
The main change we should see phased in over the next couple of weeks is pedestrian priority at junctions. As it stands, road users turning into junctions only give way to pedestrians who have already started to cross the road. The newly revised rule will give pedestrians who are waiting to cross the road priority.
One concern, pedestrians asserting their rights under the new rules before drivers are fully aware of the changes. Until everyone is aware of the new rules, leaping out into the path of unaware motorists at junctions probably isn’t you’re best life decision.
New Priority For Cyclists When Cars Are Turning
The main change for cyclists is updated guidance regarding road positioning. On quiet roads, in slower traffic and approaching junctions they should ride central in their lane. When riding on busy roads they should aim to keep at least 0.5 metres or 1.5 feet from the curb (and further where it is safer).
Other guidance for cyclists.
Cyclists in Groups
Cyclists in groups need to be considerate of other road users. They are still being encouraged to ride 2 abreast, which can be safer. However, they should be aware of traffic behind, moving back to single file and letting them overtake if needed.
Cyclists Passing Parked Cars
Cyclists passing parked cars should aim to give a car doors width or 1 metre of clearance. This avoids being hit by the door if it opens.
They should also look out for people walking into their path from in between vehicles.
Phasing In The Change
The new rules were due to be phased in – 29th Feb 2022. Some road users may be aware of it, and some may not. A transitional period is no doubt going to take place over the next few weeks as everyone gets acostomed to the new rules.
Please comment below if you have any opinions on the new rules or any experiance, good or bad whilst out driving.