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New Highway Code Rules For 2022
The Highway code promotes road safety in the UK by outlining a list of rules, expectations, advice and guidance that all road users must abide by. Whilst most people have a good understanding of what they need to know when learning to drive, it can be easy to push the rules of the road to the back of your mind as driving becomes second nature.
To ensure the code is relevant to an evolving society, driving habits and technology, it is regularly updated. With new sections on electric cars, the hierarchy of road users and overtaking distances, regardless of how long you have been using the roads, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians must ensure that they take the time to familiarise themselves with new safety rules as they come in.
With 8 new rules brought in from January 2022 alone, here are the main new highway code rules that you need to be aware of, with a summary below.
With so many road users to keep safe, the hierarchy of road users places those with the highest risk of being injured in a road accident at the top of the hierarchy. Pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and motorcyclists, with children, older adults and disabled people are more at risk so the updated rules cover the prioritisation of these groups in common road scenarios like junctions.
View the full updates to rules H1, H2 & H3 in more detail.
This update to the highway code makes it clear that pedestrians take priority over all types of traffic including drivers, motorcycles and cyclists when waiting to cross the road or crossing at a junction.
With people, bikes and animals sharing the same space, it’s important to understand the rules to keep all users sharing the same routes and spaces safe.
Pedestrians shouldn’t obstruct cyclists or horse riders and those people should respect the safety of the walkers in the same space.
Overtaking is dangerous but sometimes necessary. The updated rules clarify safe passing distances and speeds when overtaking vulnerable road users such as horse riders, cyclists and pedestrians.
Drivers and motorcyclists should give property to cyclists and horse riders on roundabouts. This means no attempt to overtake within a lane should be made, and motor vehicle users should allow the more vulnerable people to cross their path as they travel around the roundabout.
Horse-drawn vehicles are already allowed to stay in the left-hand lane for the full roundabout but the guidance is updated to let people know that extra care must be given when sharing a roundabout with these road users to ensure they do not cut across them.
Getting out of a car or other vehicle can be dangerous for other road users who may be passing the vehicle you are leaving. As such, the code has been updated with the recommendation to use the ‘Dutch Reach’ technique when getting out of a vehicle.
This means, where possible people should use the opposite hand to the side of the door they are opening to operate the door. For example, if leaving the car from the driver’s seat on the right-hand side of the car, the left hand should be used to open the door. This action forces the person to turn their head which means they can see people coming on the road or pavement before exiting, therefore meaning they are less likely to cause an injury.
Electric charging point guidance has been included for the first time to ensure the safety of road users around these points. The updates cover parking close to the charging point to remove trip hazards, displaying warning notices if you can and properly returning cables to their points.
View the 50 new rules across 20 sections of the Highway code here.
We know people have busy lives, but to ensure that everyone knows how to stay safe on the roads it’s important that we all take our responsibility to keep on top of Highway code updates seriously. The easiest way to do this is to sign up to get email alerts when the rules change or to follow The Highway Code on Facebook
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