THINK! Highway Code Changes Campaign
The government has launched a THINK! road safety campaign to highlight changes to the Highway Code. The image above is from a Tweet by the THINK Road Safety account.
The THINK! website says that the Highway Code campaign will be in two phases. The first phase in February raises awareness of the changes to the Highway Code, and the second phase in May/June will seek to change driver behaviour.
All Tweets and other publicity will link back to a DfT web page titled The Highway Code: 8 Changes You Need to Know from 29th January 2022. The changes are as follows.
1) Hierarchy of Road Users
The Hierarchy of Road Users states that those in charge of vehicles that can cause the greatest harm in the event of a collision bear the greatest responsibility.
2) People Crossing the Road at Junctions
The Hierarchy of Road Users includes the principle that the drivers of vehicles turning into or out of side roads should give way to pedestrians crossing the junction or waiting to cross it.
3) Walking, Cycling or Riding in Shared Spaces
On shared paths, people on bikes should let walkers know they are there and slow down when necessary. Those on foot should take care not to obstruct or endanger people on horses or bikes.
4) Positioning in the Road When Cycling
This update to the Code includes the principle of riding in the centre of the lane:
- on quiet roads
- in slower-moving traffic
- at the approach to junctions or road narrowings
On busy roads with faster traffic, cyclists should be at least 50cm from the kerb.
There’s also mention or riding at least 1m from parked cars to avoid being ‘doored’.
The changes highlighted here include:
- drivers can cross a central double white line to overtake cyclists or horse riders doing 10mph or less
- drivers should leave at least 1.5m when overtaking cyclists at up to 30mph
- at faster speeds, drivers should leave more space
Cyclists can filter on the left or right of slow-moving or stationary traffic.
6) Cycling and Junctions
There are various minor points about cycling and junctions including advice that where there are no separate facilities cyclists should proceed as if driving a vehicle, including taking a central position in their lane. This makes them as visible as possible, and means they are less likely to be overtaken where it would be dangerous.
Drivers should give cyclists priority at roundabouts, not attempt to overtake a cyclist within their lane, and allow cyclists to move across their path as they go round the roundabout.
Cyclists may stay in the left hand lane even when they are not taking the first exit.
8) The Dutch Reach
The Dutch Reach is now recommended when opening a car door. You use your hand on the opposite side to open the door, which means you turn your body and look to see if there is:
- a cyclists or motorcyclist passing on the road, or
- a person on the pavement