The Highway Code

Changes that you need to know about

Changes to The Highway Code are designed to enhance safety for all road-users – particularly those most at risk – and are set to come into effect from this Saturday, 29 January 2022.

A hierarchy of road-users will be introduced this weekend, ensuring quicker or heavier modes of travel have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others on the road.

Clearly visible Cyclists

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.

How do you open your car door?

Meanwhile motorists will be encouraged to adopt the so-called ‘Dutch Reach’, 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 new updates are advisory, so non-compliance will not result in a fine, at present.

Changes enforced from 29 January 2022

The Government initially announced the detail of the incoming updates to The Highway Code to national media last summer. They follow a public consultation where nearly 21,000 people submitted their views, with the majority supporting every single one of the changes coming into force this weekend.

The changes seek to improve the safety of those most at risk on our roads. Everyone has an equal right to use the road, and likewise everyone has a shared responsibility to behave in a safe and considerate manner.

The Department for Transport engaged with key stakeholders while developing the changes, and a Highway Code Communications Working Group has been established, with industry working alongside Government to raise awareness.

The changes will be made to the digital version of The Highway Code this weekend, followed by an update to the printed version which is due to be published in April 2022. Eight of the most significant changes are explained here