From January 29th 2022 there will be an update to the highway code as the department for transport aims to ensure a safer road where cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles can all coexist on British roads.
In this article, we’ll highlight some of the new changes coming into play, early in 2022.
Hierarchy of Road Users
In an effort to improve safety for vulnerable road users, the government is introducing a new road hierarchy.
This essentially means that the people who can potentially do “the greatest harm” will hold the greatest responsibility to reduce the threat that they pose to others.
This means if you’re a HGV driver, then you’ll be at the top, cars and vans will be after that and then cyclists and then pedestrians.
Things such as taking photos and videos at the wheel, selecting a song on your playlist and playing games on your phone, will now become illegal and may receive a £200 fixed penalty and six points on your licence.
Pedestrians Crossing At Junctions
As it stands, when a person wants to cross the road at a junction, unless there is a zebra crossing, it’s up to the driver to be courteous and allow the pedestrian to cross the road.
However, if the person is already on the road, then they have right of way at a junction and the driver should allow them to cross.
The new rule allows for the right of way for pedestrians. Now, when a car is turning into a road and there are pedestrians waiting to cross, the driver should stop and allow them to do so.
Overtaking When Driving or Cycling
The rules when overtaking are changing too, when overtaking at speeds of up to 30mph, you now must leave at least 5 feet between yourself and the person/cyclist you’re overtaking.
If you’re passing people riding a horse, or people walking in the road at speeds of 10mph or under, you must leave at least 6.5 feet of space.
You must stay behind them until there is enough space in order to overtake them.
The ‘Dutch Reach’
Drivers and passengers in a vehicle will now need to use their opposite hand to open the car door and get out.
The idea being that, by using your left hand to open your car door on the right as a driver. Or using your right hand to open the car door on your left if you’re a passenger you will have to turn your head to look over your should behind you.
This is to avoid any accidents that you may not have seen previously. Motorbikes, cyclists and pedestrians who could be passing by that you may harm by opening your car door.
Caught Up To Speed?
These are just some of the new changes coming into effect as of the 29th of January 2022.