pedestrian walking across the road at a junction

Highway Code Rule Changes

The latest updates to the Highway Code come into force this weekend (29th January 2022). Are you aware of the changes? In all there are eight changes you need to know about. Below is a brief summary of some of these. The latest copy with the changes should be available from tomorrow. Make sure you do have the latest version (current one was published in 2015 with revisions last year…….so wait for the official updated version to see the detailed changes).

New Hierarchy

The biggest change is the firm establishment of a road user hierarchy. In summary, the greatest protection is given to pedestrians (the most vulnerable) with least to HGVs.

  1. Pedestrians
  2. Cyclists
  3. Horse riders
  4. Motorcyclists
  5. Cars/Taxis
  6. Vans/Minibuses
  7. HGVs

Priorities for pedestrians

At a junction, drivers and motorcyclists must give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross. This is likely to cause the greatest confusion as drivers get used to waiting for pedestrians to cross as opposed to pedestrians waiting for vehicles to turn at junctions. In addition, cyclists should give way to pedestrians on shared-cycle tracks.

Drivers to give priority to cyclists

Similarly drivers should give way to cyclists and take care to give them plenty of space on roundabouts.

Clearer Guidance for Drivers

Cyclists have been given clear guidance that they should ride in the middle of a lane when possible on quiet, less busy roads. They are also encouraged to ride two-abreast which makes it safer and easier for vehicles to overtake a large group of riders. Drivers should give at least 1.5 metres clearance when overtaking.

Many accidents occur when car doors are opened without looking. Drivers should look over their shoulder to ensure that the road is clear before opening a door. This becomes automatic when using the opposite hand to open a door; the so called Dutch Reach technique.


Pavements are for pedestrians, pushchairs, wheel chairs and invalid scooters. Cyclists and horse riders are forbidden to use pavements for riding. This includes children. Also horse riders are not allowed to use cycle paths. Vehicles should not be parked on pavements or cycle paths as this causes problems for pedestrians and cyclists. Vehicles should not be parked within 10 meters of a junction, on a bend, against a drop curb or driveway.

When did you last read the Highway Code?

Many of us have not picked up a copy of the Highway Code since we took our driving test. With the new changes coming into force this weekend, I would encourage you to go on line, down load a copy or buy a hard copy and familarise yourself and your friends and family with the changes and updates. (Reminder to wait for the official latest version which should be available from 29th January 2022.)