New Highway Code Rules for 2022

Latest Changes To The Highway Code Rules for 2022

From the Official Highway Code

The Highway Code has received a refresh, with a new set of rules coming into force from 29th January 2022. As well as some 49 existing laws being updated, new rules will be introduced.

The changes are rather extensive and can be found on the website link located at the bottom of this article. However, the key areas are detailed below.

Hierarchy of road users

Previously The Highway Code stated all road users should be considerate towards each other, applying this principle to pedestrians and drivers equally. It meant that equal responsibility was originally placed on all road users for assuring the safety of others.

The new hierarchy places responsibility on the road users who could do greatest harm to others, and it is with them that the greatest obligation to protect the most vulnerable on the road now lies. Top of the hierarchy are lorry drivers, cars, vans, buses and motorcycles. But it should be noted that cyclists, horse riders and horse-drawn carriage drivers have a greater responsibility to reduce the danger posed to pedestrians.

Pedestrian priorities at junctions

Prior to the rule change, road users would have given way to pedestrians who have started to cross the road into which they are turning.

Under the new rules priority must be given to pedestrians who are waiting to cross the road, which means that if you are about to turn into a road and a pedestrian is waiting to cross, you should give way.

New rules for drivers and motorcyclists at junctions

The new rule states that when turning into or out of a junction, drivers should not cut across the path of any other road user, including cyclists, horse riders or horse-drawn vehicles, if doing so would cause the other road-user to slow down, stop or swerve.

Safe passing distances

An amendment to existing Rule 163 sets out safe passing distances for drivers when overtaking cyclists, motorcyclists, horse riders and those in horse-drawn carriages.

Drivers must give at least a 1.5 metre space when overtaking a cyclist at speeds of up to 30mph.
More space should be allowed when overtaking at speeds of more than 30mph. Rule 72 establishes the right for cyclists to ride in the centre of their lane, to ensure that they remain visible.
When passing a pedestrian who is walking in the road, drivers should allow at least 2 metres of space and maintain a low speed.
Rule 213 has also changed and now states that on narrow sections of roads, horse riders may ride in the centre of the lane and drivers should allow them to do so for their own safety, to ensure they can see and be seen. Drivers should pass a horse at least 2 metres distance and at low speed.
In all cases, drivers will now have to wait behind a motorcyclist, cyclist, horse rider, horse-drawn vehicle or pedestrian and not overtake if it is unsafe or not possible to meet these clearances. Extra care should be taken in poor weather, including high winds.

For a more in-depth look at the new rules, visit: