The Highway Code
Everyone is likely to be a ‘road user’ in some shape or form and the Highway Code is essential reading for all road users, including pedestrians, mobility scooter users, cyclists, horse riders, drivers and motorcyclists.
You can view the full code here.
Rules for all types of road users have been updated (January 2022) in The Highway Code to improve the safety of people walking, cycling and riding horses.
A key feature is the introduction of a new ‘hierarchy’ which places those road users most at risk in the event of a collision at the top (1.) and recognises that those in charge of vehicles can cause the greatest harm and pose the greatest danger to others (8.):
- Horse riders
- Cars and taxis
- Vans and minibuses
- Large passenger vehicles
- Heavy goods vehicles
Other changes include:
- New guidance about routes and spaces which are shared by people walking, cycling and riding horses
- Updated guidance for people cycling about positioning themselves
- Updated guidance on safe passing distances and speeds for people driving or riding a motorcycle when overtaking vulnerable road users
- New guidance about using electric vehicle charge points
The code also recommends a technique to use when leaving vehicles. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Dutch Reach’, it requires you to use the hand furthest from the car door to open it. This sets off a series of five linked actions: reach, swivel, look back, open slowly, and then exit facing traffic.
You can find out more about ‘Dutch Reach’ here.
In total, 10 sections of The Highway Code have been updated, with 50 rules being added or updated.
You can find a summary of all the changes in The Highway Code updates list on GOV.UK.
Driving on motorways
National Highways are responsible for managing and improving England’s motorways and major A roads.
There were 2,300 miles of motorway in Great Britain in 2020 and 29,500 miles of ‘A’ road (source).
It’s National Highways’ role to help keep people safe on our roads. They also want people to be safe and feel confident when they travel. There are many ways they are doing this, including providing help and guidance to drivers about the roads they look after. Visit their ‘Driving on motorways’ hub for more information.