Highway Code changes ‘bring rules into the 21st Century’

15.25 | 26 January 2022 | | 4 comments

Changes to The Highway Code designed to enhance safety for all road-users – particularly those most at risk – are set to come into effect from Saturday, the Government has confirmed.

If approved by Parliament, a hierarchy of road-users will be introduced from 29 January, meaning quicker or heavier modes of travel will have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others on the road.

Cyclists will also receive fresh guidance to ride in the centre of a lane on quieter roads, in slower-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions in order to make themselves as clearly visible as possible. 

They’ll also be reminded they can ride two abreast – as has always been the case and which can be safer in large groups or with children – but they must be aware of drivers behind them and allow them to overtake if it is safe to do so.

Meanwhile, motorists will be encouraged to adopt the so-called ‘Dutch Reach’ (as shown below), opening the door next to them with the opposite hand so they look over their shoulder, meaning they’re less likely to injure passing cyclists and pedestrians.

The THINK! campaign will soon launch a communications drive, backed by more than £500,000 in funding, raising awareness of the changes and ensuring road-users across the country understand their responsibilities. 

The campaign will run across radio and social media channels, with further campaign activity to follow later in the summer.

The new updates are advisory, so non-compliance will not result in a fine.

Baroness Vere, roads minister, said: “I’m proud to say we have some of the safest roads in the world, but I’m determined to make them safer still for everyone.

“These updates to The Highway Code will do just that by bringing the rules into the 21st Century, encouraging people to respect and consider the needs of those around them, and ensuring all road-users know the rules of the road.”

Bill Smith, Road Safety GB’s director of communications, said: “Road Safety GB welcomes these changes that are now being laid out in The Highway Code. The use of our roads is a shared responsibility and by putting into practice these changes will endeavour to create a safer road environment for all groups of road users.

“We look forward to supporting the DfT and engaging with other interested parties and the public in general in promoting this crucial safety information.”



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    I have created a page on the Older Drivers Forum website all about the changes with additional photos and videos as I find them. We do plan to run free webinars in March 10th and 14th on the Highway Code and the changes to help educate drivers, particularly mature motorists as well as safe driving tips. We will be offering 1000 free places per webinar and open to any one in the UK. Booking will be possible from 19th February on our website. Here is the link to the Highway Code page https://olderdriversforum.com/they-highway-code/ If you click follow on the website then you will get an e-mail when places are available to book. This may help some of you nationally and the people you support

    Rob Heard, Southampton
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    There is an interesting guest blog from Mooneermans solicitors on “Why we need 20mph speed limits if the changes to the Highway Code are to work”.

    “If the UK government is serious about making our streets safer for all road users, then now is the opportunity to throw its weight behind the campaign for a speed limit of 20 mph to become the new norm on residential streets throughout the country. In fact, for the new Highway Code to work, it’s an opportunity they can’t afford to pass over.”


    Rod King, Lymm
    Agree (3) | Disagree (11)

    The only publicity that I’ve seen until recently was hysterical and mis-informed press coverage, which is probably not the ideal way to educate the public……..

    Keith Wheeler, Milton Keynes
    Agree (11) | Disagree (0)

    Interest debate in the Lords – “That this House regrets the draft Revision of the Highway Code because, despite making important changes to protect road users from harm, Her Majesty’s Government has failed sufficiently to educate the public on the changes.”


    Trevor Baird
    Agree (9) | Disagree (0)

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