From 29 January 2022 the Highway Code in the UK is changing. They are the most significant changes for decades, and yetwsurveys suggest that many drivers, and employers, are totally unaware of the changes.
A full list of the changes can be found here, but the main ones are as follows:
There will be a new hierarchy of road users which will put those most at risk of injury or accident at the top. This hierarchy is:
Vans and minibuses
Large passenger vehicles and HGVs
If there is a pedestrian waiting to cross or crossing a road at a junction, they will have priority over cars turning left or right into those junctions.
Drivers must give priority to cyclists in a variety of situations, including junctions and roundabouts in almost every scenario.
Cyclists can ride in the middle of the lane in order to be more visible and can ride two or three abreast.
Drivers should leave larger gaps between themselves and other road users in icy conditions.
The existing rule 91 on drivers getting a good sleep before long journeys is more stringent: "Driving when you are tired greatly increases your risk of collision. To minimise this risk make sure you are fit to drive. Do not begin a journey if you are tired. Get sufficient sleep before embarking on a long journey avoid undertaking long journeys between midnight and 6 am, when natural alertness is at a minimum plan your journey to take sufficient breaks. A minimum break of at least 15 minutes after every two hours of driving is recommended if you feel sleepy, stop in a safe place." This will affect businesses who have drivers who travel across the country as a part of their job. It remains the duty of drivers to ensure this is in place, however employers must ensure controls are in place to allow sufficient rest and sleep when planning journeys and logistics.
When parked, both drivers and passengers must use the hand furthest from the door to open the door. This allows them to look over their shoulder for cyclists, road users and pedestrians to avoid hitting them with the door. Using a mirror is not sufficient. This method is known as the Dutch Reach method.
Vehicles must only pass horse riders and horse drawn vehicles at no less than 2 metres gap, and at speeds not exceeding 15mph.
Where pedestrians are on the road because there is no pavement or to avoid an obstacle, vehicles must slow down and pass with at least a 2 metre gap.
The new Highway Code will be published at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code when the rules come into force.