Highway Code changes: These are the big changes coming into effect

Major changes to the Highway Code come into effect today (January 29).

The new guidance means traffic should give way when pedestrians are crossing or waiting to cross at junctions.

Cyclists are advised to ride in the centre of lanes on quieter roads, in slower-moving traffic, and when approaching junctions, to make themselves as visible as possible.

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A hierarchy of road users is also being introduced, meaning someone driving will have more responsibility to watch out for people cycling, walking, or riding a horse, and cyclists will have more responsibility to be aware of pedestrians.

A number of changes to the Highway Code come into effect on January 29

Nine sections have been updated, with 50 rules added or amended. The changes are advisory, so non-compliance will not result in a fine.

The Highway Code contains advice and rules for people on Britain’s roads.

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Here are the 10 key rules which are either new, or have been clarified.

Hierarchy of road users

A new hierarchy means people in charge of vehicles that can cause the most harm in the event of a collision have the greatest responsibility to look out for other road users.

Walking, cycling or riding in shared spaces

Cyclists should not overtake people walking or riding a horse in shared spaces closely or at high speed, while pedestrians should take care not to obstruct paths.

Positioning of cyclists

Cyclists should make themselves as visible as possible by riding in the centre of lanes on quiet roads, in slower-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions.

Pedestrians crossing at junctions

Turning traffic should give way when people are crossing or waiting to cross at junctions.

Traffic must give way to people on zebra crossings.

Overtaking cyclists

Drivers travelling at speeds of up to 30mph should leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists.

They should give more space when overtaking at higher speeds.

Opening car doors

Car occupants should open doors using their hand on the opposite side to the door, making them turn their head to look over their shoulder.

This technique, known as the Dutch Reach, reduces the chances of doors being opened into the path of cyclists and motorcyclists.

Overtaking cyclists at junctions

When cyclists 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.

Cycling in groups

People cycling can ride two abreast but should be considerate of the needs of other road users when in groups.

Roundabouts

Drivers should take extra care when entering roundabouts to make sure they do not cut across cyclists.

Electric vehicle charging

Electric car owners using a public chargepoint should park near the device and avoid creating a trip hazard from trailing cables.