9th February 2022

Highway Code changes

At the end of January, important changes to the Highway Code came into force.

In total, the Government has made 50 changes to the code. Chair of the Town Council’s Sustainable Travel Committee and Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr Tim Trimble has given a run down of the biggest changes:

One of the key changes is that the government has established a new hierarchy of road users.

The first rule H1 places more responsibility on drivers of larger vehicles to take greater care of more vulnerable road users. The rule change also means cyclists and horse riders have a responsibility to watch out for pedestrians.

Rule H2 asks drivers, cyclists, motorbike riders and horse riders to pay more attention to pedestrians at junctions. The rule says that if you see someone wants to cross, “you should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which or from you are turning”.

Rule H3 states that motorists should not cut across cyclists or horse riders going straight so that they are not forced to swerve or stop. This especially applies when motorists are turning left; where they should wait for a safe gap before turning.

Other rules are aimed at protecting the most vulnerable including new guidance for drivers to leave at least a 1.5m gap (where possible) when overtaking cyclists and a two-meter gap when overtaking pedestrians on the road.

Motorists are also recommended to use the Dutch Reach technique to exit their vehicles. The Dutch Reach requires using the hand furthest from the door handle to open the door. The technique forces drivers to turn their heads and look behind them; as a result, they are less likely to injure passing cyclists and pedestrians.

More information on the changes can be found on the Government’s website by clicking here.