Drivers & the New Highway Code

Are you aware of the latest changes to the Highway Code? This is something that all motorists, cyclists and other road users need to be aware of, especially because many changes have been made to improve the safety of vulnerable road users.

With an increasing number of people travelling sustainably, adjustments have been made to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists and it is important to be aware of these changes so that you can avoid accidents and having to rely on your insurance provider to get you out of a sticky situation.

 

The Hierarchy

First, you need to be aware of changes in the hierarchy of road users. A new rule grants greater power to cyclists on the roads with cars turning left or right having to give way to any cyclist that is behind and carrying straight on.

 

Overtaking

The new Highway Code also states that cyclists should not be overtaken on roundabouts and cyclists must ride in the middle of the road. If a motorist does overtake a cyclist, they must keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres to protect the cyclist.

 

Pedestrians

Pedestrians also now enjoy greater power when crossing the roads. Previously, a vehicle only had to give right of way to a pedestrian that had started to cross at a junction, but now pedestrians have the right of way at junctions when they are waiting to cross. It is vital that you are wary of this change as pedestrians could assert their rights under these new rules and be more aggressive when crossing the road/less likely to make eye contact with a motorist first.

 

Parking & Charge Points

There have also been changes made to leaving a parked vehicle, which is designed to prevent accidents with cyclists and people on the pavement. Now, motorists and passengers should open the car door with their hand on the opposite door so that they are forced to look behind – this is known as the “Dutch Reach” technique.

There is also information on using charging points for the first time in the Highway Code. Rules stipulate that motorists should park close to the charging point and prevent trip hazards and display a warning sign if they can. You must also return cables and connectors after use to protect others.

As you can see, there have been a few key changes made to the Highway Code that will change behaviours for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists as a result of people using more sustainable ways to travel. These changes are designed to give more power to vulnerable road users, so it is important to be aware of what these changes are before you get behind the wheel so that you do not encounter any avoidable problems on the roads.

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