If you haven’t heard already, the highway code is changing once again. Coming into force from the 29th January 2022, these new rules will see pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders all have priority over vehicles.
The biggest change is the introduction of a hierarchy system. Meaning, those who control the most dangerous vehicles will have the most responsibility. Naturally, pedestrians will be at the top of the chain, followed by cyclists, and then horse riders, motorcyclists, cars, vans and large passenger or heavy goods vehicles.
At junctions, drivers must give way to pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross or crossing.
Drivers must give a 1.5 metre minimum gap when overtaking cyclists. The changes also state that cyclists should ride in the middle of the road on quieter roads and in slower moving traffic to increase their visibility. Drivers are also encouraged to give cyclists at roundabouts and in slow-moving traffic more distance.
The most controversial change is the ‘Dutch Reach’ technique, which requires drivers to use their furthest away hand to open their car door. This has caused massive uproar on social media when it was revealed that drivers could be fined up to £1,000 if they opened their car door with the wrong hand and caused injury to a cyclist or pedestrian.
These changes are not all on the driver. Cyclists should now give way to pedestrians on shared-cycle tracks.
Figures by the Department for Transport have revealed that 4,290 pedestrians and 4,700 cyclists were killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads from 2020 to June 2021.
To read the full list of changes in depth, head on over to gov.uk. Remember, these changes come into force from 29th January 2022 so there is no time to waste.