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From 29th January rules for all types of road users will be updated in The Highway Code to improve the safety of people walking, cycling and riding horses.

New hierarchy of road users

The changes being made by the Government on 29 January introduce a new ‘hierarchy of road users’.

The new hierarchy explains that those in charge of vehicles that can cause the greatest harm in the event of a collision bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger they pose to others.

This principle applies most strongly to drivers of large goods and passenger vehicles, cars and motorcycles.

Other more vulnerable road users have a responsibility to reduce danger to people walking. None of this detracts from the responsibility of ALL road users, including people walking, cycling or riding a horse, to have regard for their own and other road users’ safety

Changes at a glance

The latest changes to The Highway Code include:

  • Giving people walking across and people cycling going straight ahead priority when turning in and out of junctions

  • Leaving at least 1.5 metres when overtaking people cycling at speeds of up to 30mph, and give them more space when overtaking at higher speeds.

  • Passing people riding a horse or driving a horse-drawn vehicle at speeds under 10 mph and allow at least 2 metres of space

  • Allowing at least 2 metres of space and keep to a low speed when passing a person who is walking in the road

  • Encouraging people driving vehicles to open their doors with the hand furthest from the door, to help them look over their shoulder behind them to see people cycling or walking nearby

  • People cycling may ride in the centre of the road or two abreast for their own safety, whilst allowing others to overtake when it is safe for them to do so

Changes to how the practical test is assessed

Most of the changes reinforce existing good driving behaviour and do not alter how we assess driving tests. But some of the changes will result in a change in assessment.

The new rule results in a change of assessment during a driving test. This says: “At a junction you should give way to people crossing or waiting to cross a road into which or from which you are turning”.

People driving or riding a motorcycle will need to take this new requirement to give way to people walking into account as they plan their approach to the junction.

We are reminding our driving examiners that it will take time for everyone, including people driving, riding, cycling, walking and horse riding to adapt to the changes.

Our examiners will take all of these factors into account as some people may not be aware of the changes and may react differently to the way novice drivers might be expecting.

How to stay updated

It’s easy to keep up to date with The Highway Code, and any other future changes, online.

GOV.UK includes a list of the latest updates that have been made, so it’s quick and easy to see what has changed. You can also sign up for email alerts whenever the Highway Code is updated.

The Highway Code on GOV.UK allows you to:

  • search for key words and phrases within The Highway Code

  • quickly move between related rules

  • follow links to the original laws that the rules are based on

  • print sections more easily

There’s also an official Highway Code app.

4 views0 comments
  • Adrian Fedyk

Your Zone of Vision is what you can see as you look forward and to the side from your vehicle. As you approach a junction, your zone of vision onto the other road usually improves.

You may need to get very close before you can look far enough into another road to see if it's safe to proceed. The last few feet are often critical.

Sometimes parked vehicles restrict your view so much that you need to stop and inch forward for a proper view before you emerge.

Stop, then Peep & Creep forward

  • Look in every direction before you emerge

  • Keep looking as you join the other road

  • Be ready to stop

  • Use all information available to you - look through the windows of parked vehicles

  • Use reflections in shop windows to observe oncoming traffic.

Screen pillar obstruction

The windscreen pillars can cause obstructions to your view of the road. You should be aware of this effect, particularly when:

  • Approaching junctions and bends

  • Emerging from junctions.

You should be aware that some 4x4s have very large blind spots - they can obscure groups of pedestrians, a motorcyclist or a small car.

Other road users

It can be difficult to see some other road users, especially when you are emerging from a junction. Those who are particularly at risk are:

  • Pedestrians. They frequently cross at a junction and often find it difficult to judge the speed and course of approaching traffic

  • Cyclists. They can be difficult to see, because they can be easily obscured by trees and other objects, especially if they are riding close to the side of the road. They might be approaching at a higher speed than you expect

  • Motorcyclists. Like cyclists They are often less easy to see than other traffic, but they are likely to be moving much faster than cyclists.

Think Once

Think Twice

Think Bike!

And make sure it's safe to proceed.

Always remember - LSPSM - Look in your mirrors, Signal to other road users, Position your vehicle, Slow down, then Manoeuvre.

Never rely solely on a quick glance, give yourself time to take in the whole scene.

If another vehicle or a pedestrian is not in your zone of vision, you're not usually in theirs.

Making eye contact with other road users helps you to know whether they have seen you.

12 views0 comments
  • Adrian Fedyk

Updated: Feb 9, 2022

Y-junctions can be deceptive because they often call for little change in direction.

Normally, the road going straight ahead has priority and minor roads have either 'Give Way' or 'Stop' signs. However, there are many exceptions. Watch out for oncoming vehicles positioned incorrectly. The drivers might have misjudged the junction.

Going straight ahead on the major road

  • Look well ahead for road signs and markings

  • Watch out for vehicles emerging to turn left or right

  • You must not overtake when approaching any junction.

Emerging from a minor road

If the angle of approach to the major road is very sharp and from the right, the view to your left may be restricted.

if you position your vehicle towards the major road at a right angle as you approach the 'Stop' or 'Give Way' lines, you will improve your view.

This is especially important if your vehicle has no rear side windows - a van for example.

5 views0 comments
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