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Changes to the Highway Code 2022

The Highway Code has been amended, with changes effective from 29 January 2022. The overriding basis of the changes is to ensure that, ‘those who can do the greatest harm to others to have a higher level of responsibility to reduce the danger.’

As a Licensed Driver, you are expected to be familiar with, and adhere to, the rules, so it is important that everyone takes a moment to read and understand them. Companies with employees driving as a part of their work should also ensure that they implement basic training to prevent prosecutions being brought against drivers and the company instructing them.

Rule H1 explicitly outlines a hierarchy of road users going from HGV Drivers, Minibus Drivers, Car Drivers higher up and pedestrians at the bottom of the ladder with least responsibility at greatest risk of harm.

Pedestrians have a right of way at a junction

The most notable and perhaps the most difficult change for existing drivers, is that vehicles no longer have priority at junctions. Despite a real risk of incident with vehicles in the rear line of traffic, vehicles must allow waiting pedestrians, cyclists or horse riders to cross the road at a junction instead of turning into the road.

All traffic must give way at a Pedestrian Crossing

All traffic, including cyclists and horse riders must now stop at a pedestrian crossing if people are waiting to cross. Previously only motor vehicles were required to stop, cyclists and horse riders were advised to slow and approach with caution.

Cyclists are now advised to ride where they feel safest.

Previously cyclists were guided to drive on the left. Cyclists are now required to ride no less than half a metre from the verge or kerb, ‘further where it is safer’. Motorists must pass cyclists with at least 1.5 metres space up to 30mph; more distance is required for higher speeds. Cyclists are expected to pull to the left on quieter roads, in slower-moving traffic and at busy junctions, to maximise safer overtaking opportunities. Cyclists are not obliged to use cycle lanes.

Breaches of the Highway Code are usually only prosecuted where an accident occurs or where a real risk of incident occurs. With the rise of dash cams and body worn helmet footage, the reports to police are ever increasing despite the drop in police presence on the road.

Local Authorities are also due to afforded additional powers to impose £70 fixed penalties for range of low level offences.

If you are facing prosecution or penalty, call our team today for a free initial consultation.

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