What the New Highway Code Rule Changes mean for Cyclists

Since 29th January 2022, the Highway Code changes have come into place. The new Highway Code rules must be understood by and followed by all road users. Failure to comply with the rule changes will result in a fine. Here’s how the new regulations affect cyclists:

 

Hierarchy of road users

The new Highway Code rules have placed more vulnerable road users, most at risk in the event of a collision, equal in the road hierarchy to cars. This will place horse riders and cyclists equal to cars, giving them more safety and assurance on the road.

People crossing roads at junctions

The updated code clarifies that:

  • When people are crossing or waiting to cross at a junction, other traffic must give way.
  • If people have started crossing and the traffic wants to turn into the road, the people crossing have priority and the traffic should give way.
  • People driving, riding a motorcycle, or cycling must give way to people on a zebra crossing and people walking and cycling on a parallel crossing.

Walking, cycling, or riding in shared spaces

People cycling, riding a horse, or driving a horse-drawn vehicle should respect the safety of people walking in these spaces, but people walking should also take care not to obstruct or endanger them.

People cycling are asked to:

  • Not pass people walking, riding a horse, or driving a horse-drawn vehicle closely or at high speeds, particularly from behind
  • Slow down when necessary and let people walking know they are there (for example, by ringing their bell)
  • Remember that people walking may be deaf, blind, or partially sighted
  • Not pass a horse on the horse’s left

Road positioning for cyclists

Cyclists must ride in the centre of their lane on quiet roads, in slower-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions or at the road narrowing.

Cyclists must be cautious of people driving behind them and allow them to overtake when it is safe to do so.

Additionally, cyclists must keep at least 0.5 meters away from the curb edge (further if it is safer), when riding on busy roads with vehicles moving faster than them.

Cycling in groups

  • Be considerate of the needs of other road users when riding in groups
  • Ride 2 abreast where it is safe to do so, especially with young riders.

Cycling when passing parked vehicles

  • Take care when passing parked vehicles, leave enough room (a door’s width or 1 meter) to avoid being hit if a car door were to open.
  • Watch out for people walking into your cycle path

Overtaking when driving or cycling

You may cross a double white line, if necessary (provided the road is clear), to overtake someone cycling or riding a horse, if they are travelling at 10mph or less.

There is updated guidance on safe passing distances and speeds for people driving or riding a motorcycle when overtaking vulnerable road users, including:

  • Leaving at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) when overtaking people cycling at speeds of up to 30mph, and giving them more space when overtaking at higher speeds
  • Passing people riding horses or driving horse-drawn vehicles at speeds under 10 mph and allowing at least 2 metres (6.5 feet) of space
  • Allowing at least 2 metres (6.5 feet) of space and keeping to a low speed when passing people walking in the road (for example, where there’s no pavement)

People cycling passing slower-moving or stationary traffic

The updated code confirms that people cycling may pass slower-moving or stationary traffic on their right or left.

They should proceed with caution as people driving may not be able to see them. This is particularly important:

  • On the approach to junctions
  • When deciding whether it is safe to pass lorries or other large vehicles

Cycling at junctions

The code has been updated to clarify that when turning into or out of a side road, people cycling should give way to people walking who are crossing or waiting to cross.

Additionally, some junctions now include small cycle traffic lights at eye-level height, which may allow cyclists to move separately from or before other traffic. People cycling are encouraged to use these facilities where they make their journey safer and easier.

The code recommends that people cycling should proceed as if they were driving a vehicle where there are no separate cyclist facilities. This includes positioning themselves in the centre of their chosen lane, where they feel able to do this safely. This is to:

  • Make them as visible as possible
  • Avoid being overtaken where this would be dangerous
  • People cycling turning right

The code now includes advice for people cycling using junctions where signs and markings tell them to turn right in 2 stages. These are:

 

Stage 1 – when the traffic lights turn green, go straight ahead to the location marked by a cycle symbol, and turn arrow on the road, and then stop and wait

Stage 2 – when the traffic lights on the far side of the junction (now facing the people cycling) turn green, complete the manoeuvre

People cycling have priority when going straight ahead at junctions

The code states that when people cycling are going straight ahead at a junction, they have priority over traffic waiting to turn into or out of a side road, unless road signs or markings indicate otherwise.

People cycling are asked to watch out for people driving intending to turn across their path, as people driving ahead may not be able to see them.

 

People cycling, riding a horse, and driving horse-drawn vehicles on roundabouts

The code has been updated to clarify that people driving or riding a motorcycle should give priority to people cycling on roundabouts. The new guidance will say people driving and or riding a motorcycle must:

  • Not attempt to overtake people cycling within that person’s lane
  • Allow people cycling to move across their path as they travel around the roundabout

The code already explained that people cycling, riding a horse, and driving a horse-drawn vehicle may stay in the left-hand lane of a roundabout when they intend to continue across or around the roundabout.

Guidance has been added to explain that people driving should take extra care when entering a roundabout to make sure they do not cut across people cycling, riding a horse, or driving a horse-drawn vehicle who are continuing around the roundabout in the left-hand lane.

 

Cycling safety

With the new Highway Code changes, cyclist’s road safety should certainly be at the forefront of road users’ minds. That said, you can’t always prepare for the unexpected. We carry a range of products to make road users safer and more responsible.

DC-1 Dual Lens Helmet Camera

The DC-1 dual lens records front and back, providing you with an all-round record of your ride for enhanced safety purposes. Perfect for evidence in the event of an accident. Useful for claims, insurances, police evidence, etc, if the worst were to happen. Mounts and straps are also included, just simply purchase and ride – safely of course.

CF-1 Front Light

The CF-1 Front Light and camera have been designed for enhanced safety. The light and camera feature works to make you visible to other road users, while providing you with video evidence in the event of an accident. Comes with bike camera mount to get you started immediately. The ultimate package for safety on the road.

CR-1 Rear Light

The CR-1 Rear Light offers 60 lumens of light and 6 light modes to ensure you are visible from behind and the 1080P full HD camera is fitted to watch your back, adding additional security to any cycling journey. The CR-1 offers additional safety for cyclists in the event of an accident, providing clear evidence in the case of accidents, claims, etc. A worthwhile addition for any cyclist.

XV-1 2K QHD Helmet Camera

The XV-1 Helmet Camera is designed for enhanced safety for all cyclists. Fits to your helmet and captures full 1080P HD recordings of your journey. Perfect for providing evidence if an accident were to happen. Fits multiple helmet types and can be used across sports. All main fittings are included so you can get going as soon as it at arrives.