What are the 2022 Highway Code changes as proposed?
Come into force on Saturday January 29th 2022.
Rule H1: New hierarchy of road users Drivers of vehicles that can cause the greatest harm in the event of a collision bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger to others. This principle applies most strongly to drivers of HGVs, LGVs, cars/taxis and motorcycles. Cyclists and horse riders likewise have a responsibility to reduce danger to pedestrians.
Rule H2: New priority for pedestrians at junctions At a junction, drivers, motorcyclists, horse riders and cyclists should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which or from which you are turning. You should give way to pedestrians waiting to cross a zebra crossing (currently you only have to give way if they’re already on the crossing), and to pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross a parallel crossing.
Rule H3: New priority for cyclists when cars are turning You should not cut across cyclists, horse riders or horse drawn vehicles going ahead when you are turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane. This applies whether they are using a cycle lane, a cycle track, or riding ahead on the road and you should give way to them. Do not turn at a junction if to do so would cause the cyclist, horse rider or horse drawn vehicle going straight ahead to stop or swerve. You should stop and wait for a safe gap in the flow of cyclists if necessary.
The full changes to the Highway Code, which come into force next weekend, include a new road hierarchy, rules for signalling on roundabouts and further limiting the use of technology behind the wheel.
A method called the ‘Dutch Reach’ will become the recommended way of exiting a vehicle and it has a very specific technique, reported DevonLive.
Instead of blindly opening a door, the ‘Dutch Reach’ requires you to use the hand furthest away from the door to open it – if you’re the one behind the wheel, you’d use your left hand and on the passenger side, you would use your right.
This technique means drivers are forced to turn their bodies towards the door and look over their shoulders as they go to leave their car.https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=3533
The over-the-shoulder look as you reach for your door handle is a vital part of the method.
By doing this, they will get sight of any cyclists or pedestrians passing by the car that they may have missed if they hadn’t checked.
Extensive campaigning on the ‘Dutch Reach’ by Cycling UK has been key to the implementation of the new advice.
Cycling UK estimates that over 500 people in the UK are injured annually by motorists opening a car door into someone’s cycle path.
The issue was further brought into the public eye in 2016 when Chris Grayling, who was then serving as Transport Secretary, was caught knocking a cyclist off their bike when opening his door on Whitehall.
This technique is borrowed from the Netherlands, where it has always been used as standard for exiting a vehicle – hence the name, ‘Dutch Reach.’
The latest addition of the Highway Code and the legal enforcement of new rules, comes into force on Saturday 29 January.