The Highway Code was updated for 2022 and there are new rules that everyone needs to know. Do you know what has changed?
Knowing and understanding the Highway Code makes a safer driver, so we’ve pulled together some highlights of the biggest changes for you to read below.
1. Drivers no longer have right of way at junctions
Previously, unless you were at a pedestrian crossing, drivers had right of way on the road. But this is no longer the case in 2022. If you are approaching to turn at a junction and pedestrians, cyclists or horses are crossing, you must let them cross before proceeding. If an incident occurs, the fault will automatically lie with those ‘who can do the greatest harm’ unless proven otherwise.
2. Stop at zebra crossings
It is now mandatory for you to stop at zebra crossings when there are pedestrians waiting to cross, instead of just stopping when pedestrians are crossing.
3. Priority for cyclists
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. Otherwise, they can ride in the middle of a lane.
4. All uses of hand-held mobiles are banned, except in an emergency
Use of mobile phones to call or text has been banned since 2003, but it did not state about any other activity. But this has now been rectified, the 2022 update prohibits any driver from using their handheld device for anything, including taking videos or photos, scrolling through playlists or playing games—EVEN if the vehicle isn’t moving. While mobile phones can be used for hands-free calls, payment at tolls or booths and satellite navigation, they’ll need to be securely fixed.
5. The ‘Dutch Reach’ is the recommended method of vehicle exit
To try to stop the number of cyclists injured by car doors opening unexpectedly, the Highway Code now recommends you open your car door the Dutch way, meaning if you are sat in the driver’s seat, using your left hand to open the door so you can see behind you before opening the door.
There are more changes, if you’d like to read the full Highway Code, you can do so here.
The information contained in this blog post is based on sources that we believe are reliable and should be understood as general information only. It is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any specific or individual situation and cannot be relied upon as such.