Changes to the Highway Code in the UK come into force from the 29th January 2022, the new changes will have a large impact on truck drivers across Britain as they will be deemed to be the most dangerous vehicles on the road.
Government Safety Changes To The Highway Code
The Government has made safety changes to the Highway Code to try and protect the most vulnerable road users, introducing a hierarchy of road users, the new updates to the Highway Code are currently classed as advisory, meaning that non-compliance will not be an offense that can result in a fine.
The new rules will include 3 “hierarchy of road users” that places road users most at risk of a collision to the top of the hierarchy list.
3 highway Code Rule Changes set out by the Government
Rule 1 - Hierarchy of Road Users
It is important that ALL road users are aware of The Highway Code, are considerate to other road users, and understand their responsibility for the safety of others.
Everyone suffers when road collisions occur, whether they are physically injured or not. But those in charge of vehicles that can cause the greatest harm in the event of a collision bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger they pose to others. This principle applies most strongly to drivers of large goods and passenger vehicles, vans/minibuses, cars/taxis, and motorcycles.
Cyclists, horse riders, and drivers of horse-drawn vehicles likewise have a responsibility to reduce danger to pedestrians.
None of this detracts from the responsibility of ALL road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and horse riders, to have regard for their own and other road users’ safety.
Always remember that the people you encounter may have impaired sight, hearing, or mobility and that this may not be obvious.
Rule 2 - Rule for drivers, motorcyclists, horse drawn vehicles, horse riders and cyclists
At a junction you should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which or from which you are turning.
You MUST give way to pedestrians on a zebra crossing, and to pedestrians and cyclists on a parallel crossing.
Pedestrians have priority when on a zebra crossing, on a parallel crossing or at light controlled crossings when they have a green signal.
You should give way to pedestrians waiting to cross a zebra crossing, and to pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross a parallel crossing.
Horse riders should also give way to pedestrians on a zebra crossing, and to pedestrians and cyclists on a parallel crossing.
Cyclists should give way to pedestrians on shared use cycle tracks and to horse riders on bridleways.
Only pedestrians may use the pavement. Pedestrians include wheelchair and mobility scooter users.
Pedestrians may use any part of the road and use cycle tracks as well as the pavement, unless there are signs prohibiting pedestrians.
Rule 3 - Rules for Drivers and Motorcyclists
You should not cut across cyclists, horse riders or horse drawn vehicles going ahead when you are turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane, just as you would not turn across the path of another motor vehicle. This applies whether they are using a cycle lane, a cycle track, or riding ahead on the road and you should give way to them.
Do not turn at a junction if to do so would cause the cyclist, horse rider or horse drawn vehicle going straight ahead to stop or swerve.
You should stop and wait for a safe gap in the flow of cyclists if necessary. This includes when cyclists are:
- approaching, passing, or moving off from a junction
- moving past or waiting alongside stationary or slow-moving traffic
- traveling around a roundabout
Highway Code Changes Government Reference Source: View Here
Government THINK! Campaign
The Governments plans are to raise awareness for road users and intend to promote their Think! Campaign during the Summer months.
All the changes to the Highway Code will be initially available in a digital version of the code with a printed version to be published in April 2022.
Department Of Transport Stricter Rules 2022
The department of transport are also announcing plans to make stricter rules in the latter part of 2022 with changes that could incur hefty fines for motorists.
Some of these changes include:
- Using a Phone to change a music playlist whilst driving – Fine £200
- Stopping beyond a white line at traffic lights – Fine £100 (3 penalty points)
- Discarding a Cigarette from a vehicle window – Fine £100
- Displaying a dirty registration plate – Fine £1000
Key Points About Highway Code Changes
- When Turning into or emerging from a junction drivers must now give way to pedestrians waiting to cross at a junction where previously motorists would have had priority at junctions.
- Cyclists moving ahead at a junction will now have priority at junctions and traffic lights.
- Cyclists are also now being encouraged to ride in the center of a road lane to make themselves more visible to motorists when safe to do so, plus if riding in pairs cyclists are encouraged to ride side by side.
- When overtaking vulnerable road users, a distance of 1.5 meters is now required for cyclists and a distance of 2 meters for pedestrians and horse riders, also your speed should be greatly reduced a speed of 15mph has been recommended especially when passing horse riders and even slower should the situation dictate it.
- Drivers are being encouraged to use the dutch reach method to open vehicle doors, this is when you use your left hand to open the door catch encouraging drivers to look over their shoulder before opening the vehicle’s door.
The Importance Of a Dash Cam In The Future!
HGV drivers are now classed at the top of the hierarchy chain within the highway code as being the most dangerous vehicles on the road. All HGV drivers should ensure that they have a dash cam fitted within their vehicles to protect them if an incident on the road should occur, a driver will need to prove that they were not at fault should anything happen on the roads of the UK.