To kick off 2022, the Highway Code is due to introduce new driving laws as well as making amendments to existing ones.
These changes will come into force from January 29th, 2022.
There will be a total of 49 existing rules to be updated.
Here is Best4 Warranty’s breakdown of the rules you need to be aware of.
Hierarchy of Road Users
Previously, The Highway Code has guided for all road users to be considerate towards each other, applying this principle to pedestrians and drivers equally, according to Peter Lawrence, a serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell.
For example, children walking to school were equally responsible with lorry drivers on the road for their own safety and for the safety of others.
The new hierarchy of road users places those who can do the greatest harm with the greatest responsibility to reduce danger to others. This is designed to protect the most vulnerable people on the roads.
Pedestrian Priority at Junctions
Prior to the rule change, road users should only give way to pedestrians who have started to cross the road into which they are turning. However, under the new rules, priority must be given to pedestrians who are waiting to cross the road.
Drivers and Motorcyclists at Junctions
Drivers should not cut across the path or any other user when turning in or out of a junction. This guidance warns drivers not to cut across cyclists, horse riders or horse-drawn vehicles.
Cyclists Can Ride Wherever They Feel More Visible
Before this, cyclists have only been mandated to ride on the left (not against the flow of traffic) and to use bike lights at night. Now cyclists are required to ride no less than half a metre from the verge or kerb, they are however expected to pull to the left on quieter roads, in slower-moving traffic and at busy junctions.
All Hand-held Mobiles are Banned
Since 2003, you are not permitted to use your phone to call or text, however other uses have been permitted (through a loophole). Now the updates prohibit any driver from using their handled device for anything, including taking photos, scrolling through playlists or playing games – even when the vehicle isn’t moving.
The ‘Dutch Reach’ is Recommended
Most drivers are not aware of the ‘Dutch Reach’ method. Before, you could exit the vehicle any way you like as long as you take care to check mirrors and over your shoulder for any ongoing traffic. Now, in an attempt to cut the number of cyclists hit by car doors, drivers should use the hand furthest from the door to open it. This encourages the driver or passenger to swivel their body and look over their shoulder.
All these changes are to ensure everyone is safer on the roads.
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