Highway Code changes TODAY: Do you know all the major new rules?

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New and updated rules to the Highway Code have been introduced, changing how drivers share the road with cyclists – and this includes the correct etiquette when approaching and travelling around a roundabout. What is the new rule all drivers need to know?

Updates made to the Highway Code officially come into force today, January 29, 2022.

Many of the changes to the code stem from the new concept of a hierarchy of road users, in which road users are ranked by who is most at risk in the event of a collision.

So, pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders are more at risk than motorists, and therefore certain rules have been updated to give greater consideration to these road users.

Other rules update guidance for cyclists on the correct position they should stay in on the road.

What does the new Highway Code say about roundabouts?

Motorists are being warned to be extra vigilant around cyclists, horse riders and horse-drawn carriages when using roundabouts.

Updated rules for roundabouts in the Highway Code include rule 186, which states: “You should give priority to cyclists on the roundabout.”

The new guidelines for people driving cars or riding motorcycles say you should not attempt to overtake people cycling.

In addition, motorists should allow cyclists to cross their path as they travel around the roundabout.

Rule 186 says: “Cyclists, horse riders and horse drawn vehicles may stay in the left-hand lane when they intend to continue across or around the roundabout and should signal right to show you they are not leaving the roundabout.

“Drivers should take extra care when entering a roundabout to ensure that they do not cut across cyclists, horse riders or horse drawn vehicles in the left-hand lane, who are continuing around the roundabout.”

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What are the other changes to the Highway Code?

A total of 10 sections of the code have been updated, with 50 rules being added or amended.

The full list of changes can be found on the GOV.UK site here. 

Other updates to the code include giving way to pedestrians waiting to cross at junctions.

New rules also warn cyclists to watch their speed when passing horse riders and pedestrians on shared walking and cycle paths.

Another key update is the introduction of a door-opening technique called the Dutch Reach.

This is where drivers and passengers are advised to open the car door using the hand furthest from the door.

So if you were sitting in the driving seat, you would reach over with your left hand to open the door.

By doing this, you have to turn your body and head forcing you to look behind you before opening the door.

This makes injuring a cyclist or pedestrian with the door less likely.

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