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The new Highway Code rules 2022

The new Highway Code rules: the key points we all need to know

The Highway Code has undergone several changes recently, with the aim of making the roads a lot safer for cyclists, pedestrians, people riding horses and other non-vehicle users.

The changes follow a public consultation in 2020, and have come into force from 29 January 2022.

Below is a summary of the main changes you need to know about.

1. Hierarchy of road users

This places those road users most at risk in the event of a collision at the top of the hierarchy, including pedestrians and cyclists.
2. People crossing the road at junctions

When people are crossing or waiting to cross at a junction, other traffic should give way

If people have started crossing and traffic wants to turn into the road, the people crossing have priority and the traffic should give way

People driving, riding a motorcycle or cycling must give way to people on a zebra crossing and people walking and cycling on a parallel* crossing

* A parallel crossing is similar to a zebra crossing, but includes a cycle route alongside the black and white stripes.
3. Walking, cycling or riding in shared spaces

People cycling, riding a horse or driving a horse-drawn vehicle should respect the safety of people walking, but people walking should also take care not to obstruct or endanger them.

Cyclists should:

(a) not pass people walking, riding a horse or driving a horse-drawn vehicle closely or at high speed, particularly from behind.

(b) slow down when necessary and let people walking know they are there (for example, by ringing their bell).

(c) remember that people walking may be deaf, blind or partially sighted.

(d) not pass a horse on the horse's left.
4. Positioning in the road when cycling

Cyclists should:

(a) Ride in the centre of their lane on quiet roads, in slower-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions or road narrowings.

(b) Keep at least 0.5 metres (just over 1.5 feet) away from the kerb edge (and further where it is safer) when riding on busy roads with vehicles moving faster than them.

People cycling in groups

Cyclists can ride 2 abreast - and it can be safer to do so, particularly in larger groups or when accompanying children or less experienced riders

Cyclists are asked to be aware of people driving behind them and allow them to overtake (for example, by moving into single file or stopping) when it is safe to do so.

Cyclists passing parked vehicles

Cyclists should:

(a) take care when passing parked vehicles, leaving enough room (a door's width or 1 metre) to avoid being hit if a car door is opened

(b) watch out for people walking into their path
5. Overtaking when driving or cycling

You may cross a double-white line if necessary (provided the road is clear) to overtake someone cycling or riding a horse if they are travelling at 10 mph or less.

You should:

(a) Leave at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) when overtaking people cycling at speeds of up to 30mph, and give them more space when overtaking at higher speeds

(b) Pass people riding horses or driving horse-drawn vehicles at speeds under 10 mph and allow at least 2 metres (6.5 feet) of space

(c) Allow at least 2 metres (6.5 feet) of space and keep to a low speed when passing people walking in the road (for example, where there's no pavement)

If it is unsafe or not possible to meet these clearances, you should wait behind.

Cyclists passing slower-moving or stationary traffic

(a) You may pass slower-moving or stationary traffic on their right or left.

(b) You should proceed with caution as drivers may not be able to see you. This is particularly important:

• on the approach to junctions, and
• when deciding whether it is safe to pass lorries or other large vehicles.
6. Cyclists at junctions

When turning into or out of a side road, cyclists should give way to people walking who are crossing or waiting to cross.

Cyclists should proceed as if they were driving a vehicle. This includes positioning themselves in the centre of their chosen lane, where they feel able to do this safely. This is to:

• make them as visible as possible
• avoid being overtaken where this would be dangerous

When going straight ahead at a junction, cyclists have priority over traffic waiting to turn into or out of a side road, unless road signs or markings indicate otherwise.
7. People cycling, riding a horse and driving horse-drawn vehicles on roundabouts

People driving or riding a motorcycle should give priority to cyclists on roundabouts, and should:

(a) not attempt to overtake people cycling within that person's lane,

(b) allow people cycling to move across their path as they travel around the roundabout.

People cycling, riding a horse and driving a horse-drawn vehicle may stay in the left-hand lane of a roundabout when they intend to continue across or around the roundabout, and motorists must give way to them.

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