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Are you up to speed with the 2022 changes to the UK road rules?

  • Are you up to speed with the 2022 changes to the UK road rules?

You may have recently heard whispers amongst fellow motorists about changes to the Highway Code that came into effect at the end of January 2022. If you’re not already familiar with what they mean for you and other road users when you’re out and about, we’d suggest doing a bit of swotting up!  

The changes broadly revolve around priorities taken on the road by everyone who uses it - that includes pedestrians and cyclists as well as motorised vehicles. They’ve been made in order to protect the most vulnerable, shifting responsibility towards those likely to do the most harm, which means those in cars, vans and lorries. 

So how are priorities changing on our roads? 

The new priorities have been split into three sections… 


The first element of this Highway Code change is a new road hierarchy. Whilst everyone has a responsibility to look out for others on the road, this hierarchy places those most likely to come to harm at the top, with those most likely to do harm at the bottom.

Here’s what the new priority looks like… 

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


If you’re in a vehicle turning into or out of a road and a pedestrian is waiting to cross, things have changed. Before, you would have had priority, but under the new rules, you need to give way to the pedestrian. 


This one concerns those that may need to be passed by vehicles, such as cyclists and horse riders. Designed to prevent drivers from cutting up those people, the new rules state that drivers must leave at least a 1.5 meter gap when overtaking.

Is anything else changing? 

If you’ve never thought about the way you open your car door, now’s the time to start; the ‘Dutch Reach’ is now recommended as the method to use. Designed to prompt a look over your shoulder for other road users, the Dutch Reach sees you opening your car door with the hand furthest from it. 

There are also tighter laws on using a mobile phone at the wheel too. In addition to calling and texting, it’s now illegal to take photos, scroll through playlists, and play games on a mobile device. Anyone caught will face a £200 fine and 6 points on their license.