Changes to the Highway Code coming in 2022 are aimed at protecting the most vulnerable road users in the UK, with cyclists being identified as one of these groups.
With many rules within the code being legal requirements, anyone breaking these new changes could be fined, given penalty points or disqualified from driving. A new ‘Hierarchy of Road Users’ will come into force which is a concept that places the road users most at risk in the event of a collision at the top of the hierarchy.
Read more:Seven new driving rules for 2022 motorists need to know about
In an endless fight between who has priority between cars and cyclists, new rules and guidance set out by the highway code means good news for those opting into two wheels over four. In new rules coming into force the end of this month, the main focus will be centred around giving priority to vulnerable road users.
This new hierarchy will give those that can do the most harm the “greatest responsibility” to care and look out for others, meaning vehicles will have to make way for cyclists alongside pedestrians.
This new hierarchy of priority is as follows:
- Horse Riders
- Large passenger vehicles or courier vehicles like buses and HGVs
Pedestrians are placed at the top of the pyramid as they pose the least risk to users of the road whereas those towards the bottom pose the most risk to those both within the vehicle.
New rules will also mean pedestrians will take priority when waiting to cross a road vehicles are turning into and cyclists will be given priority over vehicles in some aspects.
The major rule changes that mean good news for cyclists include:
- Priority over cars when making a turn – Vehicles indicating to turn left or right will have to give way to cyclists approaching from behind and going straight ahead.
- Vehicles making more space when overtaking cyclists – Leaving a gap of 1.5 metres when overtaking at speeds of up to 30mph with even more space when overtaking at greater speeds.
- Cyclists can adopt the middle of the road when approaching junctions – They will be given priority over vehicles
These new Highway Code rules are expected to come into place on January 29, under the assumption it receives parliamentary consent.
However, as the Mirror reports, the AA has warned motorists and cyclists have the potential to cause ‘confusion and dangerous situations’ according to these new rules. After surveying 13,000 drivers, the AA found only a third were aware of one of the expected changes coming into force. Motorists having to give way to cyclists and pedestrians at junctions was found to be left in the dark to the majority of road users. To view the updated Highway Code rules and find out what it means for cyclists, click here.
Get stories like this straight to your inbox with our newsletters.