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Highway Code changes for 2022

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 1 year ago

5 min read

  • News
Highway Code

WhoCanFixMyCar explains which Highway Code changes are coming into force in 2022 and what they mean for drivers

Keeping up to date with the Highway Code isn’t just for learner drivers - it’s important for all road users to be aware of the latest rules. 

Amongst the proposed changes for 2022 is a new Hierarchy of Road Users implying automatic culpability for drivers in accidents with more vulnerable users such as cyclists and pedestrians. 

It’s no surprise that this has already caused controversy amongst those who are aware of the changes; unfortunately, this has been estimated to be less than one in three drivers, a recipe for disaster if awareness doesn’t increase before the new rules come into force at the end of January.

So what others changes are coming into force this year. You can find out exactly what the 2022 update of the Highway Code entails below.


Highway Code changes at a glance

Hierarchy of Road Users

Pedestrian priority at junction

Priority for cyclists

Is the Highway Code enforced by law?

Highway Code changes at a glance

  • Rule H1: New Hierarchy of Road Users

  • Rule H2: New priority for pedestrians at junctions

  • Rule H3: New priority for cyclists when cars are turning

Hierarchy of Road Users

This rule proposes that drivers bear the responsibility to look after more vulnerable road users because, in the event of a collision, vehicles such as HGVs, cars, taxis and buses could cause the greatest harm. 

Likewise, cyclists and horse riders have a duty of care to pedestrians.

Pedestrian priority at junction

At a junction, pedestrians have right of way, therefore drivers, motor cyclists, horse riders and cyclists should always give way. This applies regardless of whether the pedestrian is waiting to cross a road into which or from which the other road user is turning.

Priority for cyclists


This section of the Highway Code indicates that you should not cut across horse riders, cyclists or horse-drawn vehicles when you are turning into or out of a junction or changing direction/lane.

The rule applies even if they are using a cycle lane or track.

Another big change is that cyclists are now advised to ride in the centre of their lane rather than near the edge of the road/pavement. The idea behind this rule is to ensure that cyclists are more visible, but because this makes it more difficult for cars to overtake, there are concerns that it could cause drivers to make unsafe manoeuvres in an attempt to get past. 

Is the Highway Code enforced by law?

The Highway Code isn’t enforced by law; the rules are simply advisory. Nevertheless, it can be used in court in the event of an accident under the Road Traffic Act.

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