On 29th January 2022, amendments to the Highway code - the rules used by all road users from pedestrians to lorry drivers - came into force.
From advice on how to exit vehicles (by using the 'Dutch Reach') and charging electric vehicles in public places, the changes also introduce rules about the new hierarchy of road users. The hierarchy places "the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger they pose to others" to those in charge of vehicles that can cause the greatest harm in the event of a collision. Pedestrians are at the top of the hierarchy, whilst heavier vehicles, such as heavy goods vehicle's and buses, bear the most responsibility.
There are also new rules that give pedestrians the right of way when crossing junctions and many changes which are applicable to cyclists and horse riders. These include positioning guidance and, more controversially, the changes confirm that cyclists may pass slower or stationary traffic on either their right or left side.
Insurers may find that although policy wordings need not change, the number of claims could increase due to some of the new changes potentially being unclear and causing confusion/accidents to occur.
The Highway Code: 8 changes you need to know from 29 January 2022