How long has it been since you gave yourself a refresher course on the Highway Code? Now might be the time to get the books out, or to download an app to jog your memory on the way of the roads. As of 29th January 2022, the Highway Code was added to – you need to know these rules! Let’s go over what they are so that you know how to use the road safely, and in line with the newest guidelines.
Hierarchy of road users
The new guidelines have outlined a new hierarchy on the road. So, who’s the new ruler of the kingdom? Pedestrians and cyclists have priority on the roads to ensure their safety, as they are the most vulnerable road users! Where safe, drivers must give way to people on foot and bikes. This is because they are most at risk in the event of a collision on the road.
Give way to pedestrians on junctions
Drivers on the road should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting at the side of the road and junctions. This is relevant at zebra crossings and parallel crossings (which includes a cycle route alongside the stripes). In other words, if you are a driver you will need to give way to pedestrians in many situations to reduce the danger that they are put in.
Road position of cyclists
The ideal road position for a cyclist is now in the middle of the lane. This makes them more visible, and means that drivers will find it easier to be cautious around them. Where possible, cyclists should be 1.5 metres away from the pavement. This means that as drivers, we need to be aware of them!
Overtaking cyclists and horse riders
If there is a cyclist or horse rider near the pavement, drivers are now allowed to cross a double-white line if they need to overtake. If overtaking a cyclist, leave 1.5m of space between you and them. For pedestrians and horse riders, 2m is advised! If it’s unsafe to overtake, patience is key. Just wait them out until you can safely manoeuvre.
Cyclists on roundabouts
Due to the change in the hierarchy, drivers and motorcyclists must give priority to cyclists on roundabouts. We shouldn’t try and overtake cyclists within our lane, and instead should follow them slowly to ensure their safety. Cyclists are at risk of the greatest harm on the roads, so driving carefully and giving them right of way is a step to making them feel at ease.
The ‘Dutch Reach’
The ‘Dutch Reach’ is a new technique that makes it safer to open your door to leave your parked vehicle. This technique asks you to open your car door with the opposite arm, making you look behind your shoulder for any hazards such as cars or pedestrians. For example, if your door is on your right, open it with your left hand. This will save injuries!
Have these changes made you realise that you need to read up on the rest of the Highway Code? Here at Lanes School of Driving, we offer lessons to aid you through the learning for your practical test, and your theory test. Why not give us a call to start your journey? Contact us on 020 8166 5678 or email us at .