When it comes to maintaining safe driving for life, it’s important to stay up to date with the changing rules when driving on the road. The first Highway Code was originally published in 1931 and is regularly updated with new information.
In the UK, the Highway Code is a set of guides and mandatory advise for road users to follow. The purpose is to promote road safety and the information covers all road users including pedestrians and cyclists. Content includes how to understand road signs, markings and basic safety procedures. Further sections include details of license requirements, penalties and vehicle security.
Each version of the highway Code is prepared by the Department for Transport and Driver and Vehicle standards Agency. You can pick up a physical copy or digital versions are available online.
After consultation from July to October 2020, significant changes to the Highway Code were made from the 29th of January 2022. Some of the key changes include the following information.
People crossing the road at junctions
When people are crossing or waiting to cross at a junction, other people should now give way. If a person has already started crossing the road when a vehicle wants to turn, the person has priority and the vehicle should give way. At a zebra crossing, vehicles should give way to people on a zebra crossing.
Road positioning when cycling
How cyclists position themselves in the road has changed. On quiet roads, those with slowing traffic or approaching junctions, cyclists should ride in the middle of the road. When riding on busy roads with vehicles moving faster than them, cyclists are to keep at least 0.5 metres away from the kerb.
Overtaking when driving
Providing the road is clear, you can cross a double-white line if necessary to overtake someone riding a horse or bicycle if they are riding at 10mph or less. At least 1.5 metres is to be left when overtaking cyclists at speeds of up to 30mph. When overtaking people riding horses at less than 10mph or walking, leave at least 2 metres of space.
Parking and charging vehicles
For the first time, the Highway Code provides advice for owners of electric vehicles. When using an electric charging point, vehicle owners should park as close as possible to avoid creating a trip hazard. Charging cables and connectors should also be returned to avoid creating a trip hazard for other users of the road. When drivers are opening a vehicle door, the Highway Code recommends opening the door with the opposite had to the side of the vehicle they are on. This will make them turn their head to see obstacles behind them such as pedestrians or cyclists.
A total of eight changes were made to the Highway Code in January 2022. The information is essential to everyone and we recommend reading through all of the latest updates in detail. More information on the changes can be found on the Gov Website.