The Highway Code is being updated with effect from end of January 2022 to help protect vulnerable road users.
The changes have been brought in with the aim to protect vulnerable road users by creating a hierarchy of users. The change requires those who could cause the greatest harm to bear the greatest responsibility of reducing danger on the road.
The new highway code hierachy is as follows:-
- Horse riders
- Large passenger vehicles/heavy goods vehicles
The changes to the Highway Code include advice that drivers:
- Should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which or from which their vehicle is turning.
- Should not cut across cyclists or horse riders going ahead when turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane.
- Should open car doors with the hand on the opposite side to the door they are opening. This makes drivers turn their heads to look over their shoulders and makes it more likely they’ll spot an approaching cyclist
- Should leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists at speeds of up to 30mph, and give them more space when overtaking at higher speeds.
In relation to horses and riding on the roads, road users must:
- Pass horses (including horse drawn vehicles) under 10mph
- Give a 2m clearance when passing, and if this is not possible it will be the law to wait until it is clear to do so.