Update on the Highway Code

31/01/2022

Update on the Highway Code

At the end of last year, we wrote an article outlining how the Highway Code has changed. We identified the 33 new rules to the Highway Code and the Hierarchy of Road Users. Read more about it here.

There has been a revised Highway Code that will be enforced on the 29th of this month. It gives cyclists a clear priority over drivers, instructing motorists on how much room they should allow when overtaking.

These new provisions for the roads in Britain will introduce a risk-based hierarchy of road users. Cyclists and cycling campaigners have welcomed these changes, but the UK Govt has been accused of communicating them silently.

Changes to the highway code include:

  • Drivers have more responsibility of watching out for cyclists, people horse riding or walking.
  • Cyclists have to be more observant and aware of pedestrians.
  • Cars must leave at least 1.5 metres of space when passing bicycles, enabling two cyclists to ride abreast.
  • Cyclists are instructed to cycle in the centre of the lane in slower moving traffic and on quiet roads and move over to the left if a faster vehicle approaches if this can be done so safely, and "at the approach to junctions or where the road narrows, where it would be unsafe for drivers to overtake them".
  • Drivers turning into a road are required to give way to pedestrians waiting to cross.
  • Motorists cannot cut across cyclists or horse riders going straight ahead when turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane to avoid "left hook" collisions.
  • Motorists should allow cyclists priority at roundabouts.

 

Other changes to the highway code can be found in this article.

These changes are due to the hazardous history of the Highway, which has led to many injuries, crashes and fatalities.  The Provisional Department for Transport (DfT) figures show 4,290 pedestrians and 4,700 cyclists were killed or seriously injured in crashes on Britain's roads in the year to the end of June 2021.

Olympic Cycling gold medallist Chris Boardman will be leading a new government agency tasked with improving cycling and walking infrastructure in England.

He has been appointed interim commissioner of Active Travel England, which is responsible for awarding funding that will improve health and air quality. The agency is also tasked with identifying the potential dangers that vulnerable road users may face.

Expert Personal Injury Solicitors 

Our personal injury team are committed to supporting vulnerable road users, motorists and cyclists who have been injured in road traffic accidents. If you are seeking legal advice about a personal injury you have suffered or would like to know more information about the process of making a compensation claim, our specialist personal injury lawyers have the expertise and knowledge to deal with all types of road traffic accidents. You can call us today 0800 731 7555, make an online enquiry or drop into one of our personal injury clinics:

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