The changes include the introduction of a hierarchy of road users, the adoption by motorists of the so-called ‘Dutch Reach’ to help reduce the risk of injuring passing cyclists and pedestrians, and fresh guidance to cyclists about riding in the centre of a lane on quieter roads to make themselves more visible.
Commenting on the changes, Jason Wakeford, head of campaigns at Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Brake welcomes the changes to the Highway Code which come into effect this Friday (29 January 2022). The introduction of a road user hierarchy is so important for road safety. It means it is clear that road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the risk they pose to more vulnerable users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
“The focus on better protecting vulnerable road users in the new Highway Code follows the Government’s July 2021 announcement of £338m for building segregated cycle lanes and walking schemes. As part of the hierarchy approach, it’s vital that funds continue to be released for safe space for walking and cycling, with 20mph speed limits in areas where people live and work.
“It’s vital that Government works hard to promote the Highway Code changes, to help all road users understand the new rules and our shared responsibility to reduce deaths and serious injuries.
“We urge all road users, particularly drivers, to look at the updated Highway Code, learn about the changes, and do their bit to put safety first.”