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What's new in 2022? Here's everything you need to know about the Highway Code changes...

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When it comes to the Highway Code it’s important to keep on top of any changes. So, we’ve put together a list of the key changes for 2022...

  • Which Highway Code rules are changing?
  • The new ‘Hierarchy of Road Users’
  • Your responsibilities as a driver

Eight new rules are set to come into force from 29 January 2022. These are divided into rules H1, H2 and H3. The new proposals are set to change the ‘hierarchy’ of road users, giving more priority to pedestrians and making sure drivers are especially cautious.

What is the Highway Code? 

In a nutshell, the Highway Code is a rule book for all road users, including pedestrians, mobility scooter users, cyclists, horse riders, drivers and motorcyclists. When you take your theory driving test, you'll need to be up to date on the Highway Code and its rulings.

Rule H1 

This rule is all about putting more responsibility on drivers of larger vehicles, to make sure vulnerable road users are more protected: 

‘Those in charge of vehicles that can cause the greatest harm in the event of a collision bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger they pose to others.

This principle applies most strongly to drivers of large goods and passenger vehicles, vans/minibuses, cars/taxis and motorcycles.’

The rule also highlights the responsibility of cyclists and horse riders to be conscious and accommodating of pedestrians.

Rule H2

This rule affects how road users should behave towards pedestrians. The rule is aimed at drivers, motorbike riders, horse riders and cyclists:

‘At a junction you should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which or from which you are turning.’

So, if you’re turning into a road and there’s a pedestrian waiting to cross, you no longer have right of way as the vehicle driver. Instead, you should wait for them to cross before carrying on. Moreover, rule 151 also states that you'll also be expected to let a pedestrian cross in front of you in slow moving traffic.

Rule H3

This rule is for motorbike users and drivers, and gives priority to cyclists and horses when cars are turning:

You should not cut across cyclists, horse riders or horse drawn vehicles going ahead when you are turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane.’

So, if you’re approaching a junction and there’s a cyclist or horse rider on the road, avoid turning if it means they would need to stop or swerve. Wait for a safe gap before turning in - as a guide, leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists at speeds of up to 30mph, and more space if overtaking at a higher speed.

Additional rule changes

There are a number of other additions and tweaks to the Highway Code you should keep in mind too:

Cyclists

  • Cyclists are advised to take care when overtaking pedestrians and horses by slowing down and using their bell.
  • Cyclists should try and ride in the centre of their lane so they’re more visible on quiet roads and on the approach to junctions. This will make it easier for drivers to obey Rule H3.
  • Cyclists are advised to leave enough space for drivers to overtake them safely, especially on busier roads. Rule 163 defines a safe distance as at least 1.5 meters for cars going up to 30 mph.

 

Mobile phones

It will now become an offence to:

  • Take photos and videos while driving
  • Select a song on your playlist
  • Play games on your phone, even at a red light

The consequence for failing to obey these rules could be £200 and six points on your licence.

Remember, always avoid using your phone while driving, and only answer calls or listen to directions on a hands-free device.

 

Being aware of these changes will mean you’re always obeying the law and are driving as safely as possible. For more information, please visit the government website.

To make sure you’re protected while driving, find out more about LV= car insurance.

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