Pedestrians and Cyclists to be given greater priority on the road: Important Changes to the Highway Code in 2022.

11th Jan 2022

The Highway Code will be updated by the end of January – and here are some of the important changes you should be aware of:

A new “hierarchy” model will be implemented that gives clearer guidance on which type of road user has priority over the other. The model is presented in the following order:

  1. Pedestrians
  2. Cyclists
  3. Horse Riders
  4. Motorcyclists
  5. Cars/taxis
  6. Vans/Mini Buses
  7. Large vehicles


One could suggest that the new model aims to provide pedestrians and smaller vehicles more priority over larger vehicles.

For example, a car user will need to be more vigilant of pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and motorcyclists, whereas horse rider would need to be more vigilant of cyclists and pedestrians.

The changes will also mean that drivers will be expected to use the “Dutch reach” method, requiring a driver to look over their shoulder before opening a vehicle door to reduce the chances of hitting a passing cyclist.

Drivers will also need to leave a space of 1.5 meters when overtaking cyclists at a speed of up to 30mph, and more distance at higher speeds. This gives more clarity to the Highway Code which does not currently specify what the distance should be.

We will also see stricter rules on the use of mobile phones meaning it will be an offence to take photos and videos, select a song on a playlist, or play games on a phone while the vehicle is stationary. Violation of these rules could result in an offender receiving a £200 fixed penalty and 6 points on their licence.

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