The Department of Transport and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency conducted an expansive public consultation round from July to October 2020. This survey included 20,000 responses from businesses, public individuals, and organizations. And almost all of the respondents answered in favor of the proposed changes in Highway Codes.
Some PCO car rental companies don’t just offer EV and hybrid cars for PCO drivers but also provide the latest insights to help drivers keep tabs on changing codes and road regulations. Read this detailed post to learn about the 2022 Highway code changes designed to improve road safety.
Parking, Charging, Leaving Vehicles Unattended
The new, updated Highway Codes for 2022 recommend the Dutch Reach practice for leaving vehicles. Passengers and drivers should open the car door using their other hand. For example, if you want to get out of your car from the right, open the door with your left hand. This will give you room to look behind and over your shoulder and make sure there’s no pedestrian, cyclist, or driver passing by. This will minimize the risk of injury, prevent collisions, and protect people on pavements.
The updated Highway Codes also includes special guidance for EVs (Electric Vehicles). It states that EV drivers must park their vehicles close to charging cables to prevent tripping hazards. It’s better to display a warning sign if an EV is charging. EV drivers must properly return cables and wires to their intended use and avoid creating obstacles for other road users.
Hierarchy of Road Users
Three new rules have been included in the Highway Code across the UK. The code mandates road users to be aware of the latest Highway Codes, considerate of other users, and drive responsibly for others’ safety.
The three codes in this regard are H1, H2, and H3. Here’s a quick breakdown to help you understand their purposes:
- H1 states that heavy vehicle drivers must take care of those more vulnerable on the road
- H2 is directed toward motorcyclists, riders, and car drivers. They should allow pedestrians to cross without speeding their vehicles at a junction
- H3 states that bike riders and car drivers shouldn’t speed up or overtake cyclists or horse riders at a swerve and maintain a safe gap to ensure their safety
Code for People on Foot
The updated Highway Code states that traffic must give way and time to people waiting at a junction to cross a road. Car drivers and bike riders must also allow cyclists and pedestrians on a parallel road.
A parallel crossing is akin to a zebra crossing with an addition of a route for cyclists along the sides.
Code for Walking, Cycling, and Riding in Shared Spaces
The 2022 Highway Code contains a separate stipulation for riders and cyclists in shared spaces. All of the latter three must respect the safety of pedestrians without obstructing or endangering their routes. Cyclists should overtake people on foot, and horse riders must not pass by a pedestrian without maintaining a safe gap, especially from behind.
This particular code is designed to enhance road safety for people who may be blind, deaf, or with a sensory health issue. The code also forbids a horse rider to pass another horse from the left.
Road Positions for Cycling
The new Highway Code guides cyclists about correctly positioning themselves on the road, especially when moving on quieter roads with slow-moving traffic. They should remain in the center when approaching a sharp turn, junction, or narrow street.
The code also requires cyclists to maintain at least 0.5 meters distance from the kerb edges when driving on busy, noisier roads.
Cycling in groups means that all of the cyclists must maintain a safe distance and respect pedestrians and other riders. Particular care is necessary if the group includes children or less experienced individuals riding bicycles. Cyclists must stay careful when passing by parked vehicles and walking people.
According to Rule 129, drivers can overtake and cross the double white line provided that the road is clear and their speed is no more than 10mph. When overtaking more vulnerable road users as mentioned in H1, leave at least 1.5 meters from other cyclists and 2 meters from horse riders.
At least 2 meters distance is necessary if a driver is overtaking walking people. However, drivers, riders, and cyclists are encouraged to not overtake any other road user if the said clearances are not possible.