These are the top seven highway code changes that will affect you.

Lately, you may have seen the proposed Highway Code changes causing a stir on the internet. Well, those new rules come into force this Saturday, 29 January 2022, so what better time to check what’s expected of cyclists and drivers alike?

We sifted through the seven most important changes to help you. So without further ado please don your helmets and high-vis jackets, then proceed with the new Highway Code!

1. Primary Position

Cyclists should use the centre of the lane when it is dangerous for a car to overtake – for example at junctions, in narrow sections of road or approaching a roundabout. This is known as the “Primary Position”.

Cyclist enforcing Primary Position on the road

2. Cycle lanes

Cyclists are not obliged to use cycle lanes even if one is available. The code has made this rule clearer but hasn’t changed it, cyclists should “exercise their judgement”.

Cyclist using Cycle lane

3. Crossing the road at junctions

A new section in the rulebook outlines that drivers should not turn into a junction if to do so, they would have to stop or swerve a cyclist, horse rider or vulnerable road user.

cyclist waiting to cross at the junction

4. Group riding

The new code also says that you can ride two abreast, particularly in large groups or accompanying a child or someone less experienced.

Why riding abreast is safer for everyone: Cycling Cartoons by Dave Walker

5. Slow moving traffic

Cyclists and pedestrians may pass the traffic in slow-moving traffic, and drivers should allow this.

man on bicycle passing in slow-moving traffic

6. Overtaking when cycling or driving

Drivers should also allow more room for cyclists when overtaking them – the code outlines that 1.5m should be given.

Why leaving space is important on a bicycle: Cycling Cartoons by Dave Walker

7.) The ‘Dutch Reach’.

The code will recommend a new technique when leaving vehicles. It’s sometimes called the ‘Dutch Reach’. Where people driving or passengers in a vehicle are able to do so, they should open the door using their hand on the opposite side to the door they are opening. This will make them turn their head and prevent a collision with cyclists passing on the road.

Driver performing ‘Dutch Reach’ to leave the vehicle

What are your thoughts on the changes? Let us know!