Changes to the highway code provide fresh guidance to increase road safety, including a hierarchy of road users and promotion of the ‘Dutch reach’.
From 29 January 2022 changes to the highway code which act to protect the most at-risk road users come into effect. Notably, the UK will see the introduction of a road-user hierarchy, which ensures quicker or heavier modes of travel have the greatest responsibility to reduce their dangerous impact on others.
Cyclists will also receive a reminder to ride in the centre of quiet roads, during slow-moving traffic, as well as in the approach to junctions. This guidance ensures riders remain as visible as possible, particularly in typical ‘danger zones’. Additionally, the legality of riding two abreast will be reinforced, which in many cases is the safest formation for larger groups, or those travelling with children.
Finally, the ‘Dutch reach’ will be encouraged amongst motorists, in which one opens an adjacent door with the opposite arm. This manoeuvre physically encourages the motorist to look over their shoulder, and therefore, reduced the chance of injury to passing pedestrians or cyclists.
Changes will be communicated to the public via the acclaimed THINK! road-safety campaign, backed with £500,000 in funding. It should be noted that all updates are advisory, and therefore not reinforced with a fine.