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Tyres  /  Tyre NewsMotoring  / New UK Driving Laws & Guidance in 2022

New UK Driving Laws & Guidance in 2022

New UK Driving Laws & Guidance in 2022

The UK’s driving laws are set to receive some changes this year, with some major additions to the Highway Code.

The Highway Code applies to all road users and contains all the information, mandatory rules and advice needed to use the roads safely.

As it applies to all those who use the road, this does not simply mean motorists. It is something which pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and motorcyclists need to also know.

These new changes to UK driving laws will come into force at the end of January 2022.

New Driving Laws 2022: Road Hierarchy

One of the key changes set to come into force this year is the road user hierarchy.

This has now been updated to give higher priority to the more vulnerable users of the UK’s roads – those most at risk in the event of a collision.

This new priority will be as follows:

  1. Pedestrians
  2. Cyclists
  3. Horse Riders
  4. Motorcyclists
  5. Cars/Taxis
  6. Vans/Minibuses
  7. Large Passenger Vehicles/Heavy Goods Vehicles

Below are just two examples of how this new hierarchy of road users is set to affect our interactions on a day-to-day basis.

Example 1: Pedestrians at junctions

Old rule: vehicles have priority at junctions.

New rule: vehicles must give way to pedestrians at junctions.

Example 2: Cyclist position on roads

Old rule: The road position of cyclists has not been previously mentioned. Most drivers expect bikes to be near the curb.

New rule: Cyclists to ride in the centre of the lane - making them more visible to other road users.

Also, in relation to vehicles and bicycles on the roads, drivers now need to leave a 1.5 metre gap between their vehicle and a bicycle when overtaking at speeds of up to 30mph. More space should be left at higher speeds.

Similarly, cyclists now have a greater responsibility to look out for pedestrians crossing or walking on a road. All of this is set to try and protect those in jeopardy of the greatest harm in various scenarios when using the UK’s roads.

UK driving laws

New Driving Laws 2022: Dutch Reach

The way in which drivers open their doors is also set to change. The Highway Code will now state that drivers, when inside a vehicle, should open doors using what is called the “Dutch reach” method.

This entails using your left hand to open the door. By using the hand furthest away from the handle, drivers are forced to shift the position of their body.

By making a person look over their shoulder, the road behind them becomes more visible and reduces the chance of hitting a cyclist by accident.

New Driving Laws 2022: Mobile Phones

For the unlawful use of a mobile phone when driving, current rules and regulations are set to be made stricter.

This includes making it an offence for drivers to take photos and videos, selecting songs from a playlist or playing games on their phone.

It is worth noting however, that for phones delivering directions to a destination, if they are being used as a hands-free device, this is permissible.

If a person is found to not follow these new rules, they could be liable to pay a £200 fixed penalty, as well as receiving six points on their license.

UK Driving Laws: All Areas Changing

We have covered some of the more immediate changes in this article – rules which perhaps need the most attention for road users.

However, if you wish to continue with some further reading here are all the areas set to chance in the The Highway Code:

Full text of all these changes can be found in one place here – the consultation outcome for the proposals on a review of The Highway Code.

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