Big changes are coming to the Highway Code in early 2022 centring on the ‘hierarchy of road users’.

This means keeping more vulnerable road users – think cyclists and pedestrians – safer by prioritising them over vehicles.

That sounds great in theory but there are concerns that qualified drivers already struggle to comprehend the current Highway Code, never mind the new version, according to research by Venson Automotive Solutions.

For instance, 79% reckon undertaking on the motorway is always illegal (no, it isn’t) and only just over 50% know that splashing a pedestrian on purpose when driving through a puddle could see you being fined.

Don’t wait

While we know you’re already putting in the work to learn the current Highway Code – unlike most qualified drivers – you could be caught out if you don’t brush up on the proposed changes.

Remember, waiting lists for driving tests are as long as six months because of multiple lockdowns, and the backlog isn’t expected to be resolved before the end of 2022.

It means you could find yourself in a practical driving test during 2022 with your driving test examiner assessing you on your practical knowledge of the ‘hierarchy of road users’.

Rule the rules

While we’ve already covered the basics of the ‘hierarchy of road users’, here are eight proposed rules as highlighted by Venson.

We believe you should begin learning them now so if the new rules are approved by Parliament – and there is no reason to believe they won’t be – and rolled out in early 2022, you’ll already have the inside line on what to expect:

Rule #1

You should give way to pedestrians waiting to cross a zebra crossing and pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross a parallel crossing.

Rule #2

Cyclists should ride in single file when drivers wish to overtake and it’s safe to let them do so. When riding in larger groups on narrow lanes, it’s sometimes safer to ride two abreast.

Rule #3

Don’t turn at a junction if it causes a cyclist going straight ahead to stop or swerve.

Rule #4

Don’t wave or use your horn to invite pedestrians or cyclists to cross; this could be dangerous if another vehicle is approaching.

Rule #5

At a junction, you should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which or from which you’re turning.

Rule #6

You should remain behind cyclists and motorcyclists at junctions, even if they’re waiting to turn and are positioned close to the kerb.

Rule #7

When traffic lights are red and there is an advanced stop line, cyclists may cross the first stop line to position themselves in front of other traffic but mustn’t cross the final stop line.

Rule #8

Cyclists may pass slower-moving or stationary traffic on the right or left, including at the approach to junctions.

  • Once the rules have been confirmed, we will update Theory Test Pro so you can practise your knowledge of the new rules in-app.

Learn the (Current) Code

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Main image © Shutterstock

Zebra crossing photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash