What are the new Highway Code rules?
The Highway Code is set to change on the 29th January 2022, but an alarming one third of drivers are unaware of the upcoming changes.
A recent survey by the AA of more than 13,700 of its members, has revealed that 33% did not know about the imminent changes to the code with 4% having “no intention” of looking at the details*.
What are the main changes?
There are 8 new rules being added to the Highway Code, the most significant change is the hierarchy of road users which is split into three rules: H1, H2 and H3.
Hierarchy of road users
This rule puts more responsibility on drivers of larger vehicles to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to more vulnerable road users.
This will apply most to large goods drivers, passenger vehicles, vans/minibuses, cars/taxis and motorcycles.
The rule also states that cyclists and horse riders have a responsibility to look after pedestrians.
Clearer and stronger priorities for pedestrians
The Highway Code now states that, at a junction, you should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road that you’re turning into. Previously, vehicles had priority at a junction. Cyclists should also give way to pedestrians on shared cycle tracks and are reminded that only pedestrians (including those using wheelchairs and mobility scooters) can use the pavement.
Drivers to give priority to cyclists in certain situations
Safe passing distances and speeds when overtaking cyclists or horse riders, as well as ensuring they have priority at junctions when travelling straight ahead.
Other key updates include clearer guidance for drivers to leave a distance of at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists.
How you can protect your drivers and your business
It is the responsibility for all road users to be aware and understand the new changes, but if you are a business owner and have commercial vehicles you must take responsibility for ensuring you and your drivers are educated with the latest rules and regulations, this will help protect your business against any potential issues of liability and litigation.