New Highway Code changes to come in January 2022
12 January 2022
On December 1, 2021, the government confirmed that the changes are due to come in to force from January 2022. There are quite a few changes and this article doesn’t cover them all, but we have identified six key changes below.
- Hierarchy of users – There will be hierarchy of road users so that those who can do the greatest harm – for example, lorry drivers – have the greatest responsibility to avoid hurting others. It places those road users most at risk in the event of a collision at the top of the hierarchy. Pedestrians, particularly children and vulnerable people are defined as most likely to be injured, followed by cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders. The hierarchy does not remove the need for everyone to behave responsibly.
- New priority for pedestrians at junctions – At a junction, drivers, motorcyclists, horse riders and cyclists should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which or from which you are turning. You should give way to pedestrians waiting to cross a zebra crossing (currently you only have to give way if they’re already on the crossing), and to pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross a parallel crossing.
- Priority of cyclists when vehicles 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. This applies whether they are using a cycle lane, a cycle track, or riding ahead on the road and you should give way to them. Do not turn at a junction if to do so would cause the cyclist, horse rider or horse drawn vehicle going straight ahead to stop or swerve. You should stop and wait for a safe gap in the flow of cyclists if necessary.
- Slow traffic – Safe passing distances and speeds when overtaking cyclists or horse riders are indicated. When you’re stuck in traffic or you’re moving slowly, new rules state that you should allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross in front of you.
- Roundabouts – Cyclists get priority, as they travel slower.
- Flashing lights – There are restrictions on flashing lights and using the horn to communicate to pedestrians or cyclists on zebra or parallel crossings.
The updated Highway Code will apply from January 29, 2022.
We recommend operators encourage drivers to read the text of the revised Highway Code. You can read the full changes in the government’s new updated Highway code on the gov.uk’s page here.
Please contact our regulatory team on 01254828300 if you need any advice.