Highway Code 2022: What is really changing?

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The motorway code will be updated from January 29, 2022 – here’s everything you need to know.

Changes to the Road Code will take effect from January 29, 2022. These changes will implement the “new hierarchy of road users” and place more responsibility on drivers of larger vehicles, with higher priority for pedestrians and cyclists.
Under the Road Traffic Act, a road code can be used in court to determine liability in the event of an accident. If you are found to be at fault in an accident as a result of non-compliance with the motorway code, you may face a fee – this includes the rules that say “should/should or not/do not”. Regardless, it is imperative that all road users remain informed so that our roads are safe and fair for all. Eight new rules are coming into effect, three of which are in the lead and define a new hierarchy of road users.

Rule H1: The new hierarchy of road users

The H1 rule places more responsibility on drivers of larger vehicles for taking care of the most vulnerable road users – these larger vehicles can do the most harm.
It states: “Those responsible for vehicles that can cause the most damage in the event of a collision have the greatest responsibility to take care and minimize the danger they pose to others. This principle applies most strongly to drivers of large cargo and passenger cars, vans/minibuses, and automobiles/ Taxis and motorbikes. In line with this, Rule H1 also specifies that cyclists and horse riders have a responsibility to look after pedestrians. It also states that all road users have a responsibility to ensure their own safety, as well as the safety of others.

Rule H2: New pedestrian priority at intersections

Rule H2 is for drivers, motorcyclists, horse riders and cyclists, and states: “At an intersection, you must give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross the road you are turning on or off.”
From January 29, 2022, pedestrians waiting at a zebra crossing must be given way and any pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross a parallel crossing must be given way. Cyclists will have to give way to pedestrians on the common use bike paths. The sidewalk may only be used by pedestrians (including users of wheelchairs and mobility scooters).

Rule H3: New priority for cyclists when turning cars

Rule H3 is for drivers and motorcyclists and states: “You may not cross a cyclist, horse rider or horse-drawn vehicle while traveling at or out of an intersection or changing direction or lane.”
Make room whether cyclists, horse riders, or horse-drawn vehicles are using the road, bike path, or bike path. You should not turn at an intersection if it will cause it to stop or veer. Instead, you need to wait for a safe gap before turning. This is the vehicle at intersections, going around a roundabout and when passing or waiting alongside stationary or slow-moving traffic. This rule also states that cyclists will now be able to ride in the middle of a lane to make themselves more visible.

Cyclists have new rules to follow under the Highway Code

What are the other new rules?

Many of the new rules focus on cyclists, intersections, and etiquette.

Rule 63: Sharing space with pedestrians, horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles

Under Rule 62, cyclists are advised to slow down when overtaking pedestrians and horses and alert them with their bell.
Road users should not overtake pedestrians, horse riders or horse-drawn vehicles closely or at high speed, especially from behind. Be prepared to slow down and stop.

Rule 72: Position the road for cyclists

Rule 72 states that cyclists should ride in the middle of the track, to be as visible as possible in the following situations:
• on quiet roads or streets – although cyclists should move left to allow faster vehicles to pass, if safe to do so • in slow traffic – though, when traffic begins to move more freely, cyclists should move Bicycle to the left to allow overtaking of faster vehicles, if it is safe to do so • When approaching intersections or road constrictions, where it would be unsafe for a driver to overtake when riding on congested roads (eg double lanes), cyclists should allow speeding over them – If they manage to do so while maintaining a distance of at least 0.5 metres.

Article 73: Intersections

Cyclists must use special bicycle facilities if they are available and proceed as if they were driving a car if such facilities are not available.

Article 75: Two phases turn for cyclists at intersections

Some signal-controlled intersections have signs and markings that tell cyclists to turn right in two stages.
• Stage 1: When the traffic lights turn green, cyclists who wish to make a turn must come straight to the cycle symbol, turn the arrow on the road and wait there • Stage 2: When the traffic lights on the far side of the intersection turn green, they must Cyclists must then complete the maneuver

Article 76: Go straight ahead

Under Rule H3, cyclists advancing directly at an intersection have priority over traffic while waiting to turn into or off the side lane (unless signs or signs indicate otherwise).
As always, all road users should be aware of others. Drivers may not be able to see or hear cyclists or pedestrians, so use caution before setting off.

Highway Code Updates

Another motorway law update specifies that drivers must use Dutch Access to unlock their car door before exiting. This involves using the hand furthest from the door, prompting the driver to point their body toward the door and look over their shoulder when exiting the vehicle.
A total of 49 existing rules will be updated along with the new rules defined above. A full summary of the changes is available on the Gov.uk website, and the full highway code is available to read online. While this article summarizes many of the changes being made, it is the individual’s responsibility to ensure that they have properly researched and follow the rules of the road and the guidelines set forth in the Highway Code.

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