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Published On: March 29, 2022 | Blog | 0 comments

Changes To The Highway Code Cyclists Should Be Aware Of

The weather is noticeably improving as the Spring sunshine is upon us. People will quite rightly want to enjoy the outdoors. Naturally there will be an increased number of cyclists out on the roads.

Cyclists are a group of vulnerable road users and data indicates this group is more likely to sustain traumatic injuries when involved in an accident.

It is important cyclists are aware of the changes to the Highway Code which came into force on 29 January 2022 and are designed to make the UK’s roads safer for cyclists.

The updates to the Highway Code provide a greater level of clarity of the responsibilities amongst road users, highlighting that cyclists and pedestrians are the most vulnerable.

The Code emphasises that drivers and motorcyclists need to give way to cyclists when cyclists are approaching, passing or moving off from a junction, moving past or waiting alongside stationary or slower moving traffic and travelling around a roundabout.

The changes cyclists should now consider are:

  • Cyclists are now advised to ride in the centre of their lane to increase visibility on quiet roads, in slow moving traffic or on the approach to junctions. This rule would prevent a cyclist from being injured by a vehicle overtaking when there is insufficient space on the road. Maybe another answer is to offer cyclists more protection by creating more designated cycle lanes.
  • Cyclists should now give way to a pedestrian who is waiting to cross a road into which, or from which, they are turning.
  • Drivers should not turn at a junction if it causes the cyclist going straight ahead to stop or swerve.
  • The Highway Code now specifies that cyclists should leave a door’s width or one metre when passing a parked vehicle to avoid them being hit if a car door opens. The new “Dutch reach” method means that drivers and passengers must reach to open a car door using their hand on the opposite side of their body, forcing them to look over their shoulder for any cyclists or passers-by.
  • On roundabouts, no attempt should be made to overtake a cyclist within that cyclist’s lane and the motorist should give way to cyclists and allow them to move across their path as they travel around the roundabout.
  • The revised Code also permits the cyclist to stay in the nearside lane as they travel around the roundabout, however the cyclist must signal his/her attention to other vehicles.
  • The old Highway Code said motorists should allow the same passing distance for a cyclist as they would for a car. This was often ignored or considered unclear, so the new rules provide more specific advice: “leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists at speeds of up to 30mph, and give them more space when overtaking at higher speeds.”

The changes made to the Code are to be welcomed but a more concerted effort must now be made to communicate the changes to all road users in order to promote cyclists’ safety.

* Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*

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