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Highway Code – what has changed?

There have been over 40 changes to the Highway code, including updates to existing rules.

The most fundamental change of principle is the inclusion of the following:

Hierarchy of Road Users

The aim is to improve safety for vulnerable road users in particular pedestrians, cyclists, and horse riders.

The updated text states that“those in charge of vehicles that can cause the greatest harm in the event of a collision bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger they pose to others. This principle applies most strongly to drivers of large goods and passenger vehicles, followed by vans/minibuses, cars/taxis and motorcycles.”

In order of the potential to cause harm, the hierarchy can be represented as follows:

Large vehicles / HGVs

Vans / Minibuses

Cars / Taxis


Horse Riders





Rule H3

  • You should not cut across cyclists going ahead when turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane, just as you would not turn across the path of another motor vehicle.
  • Do not turn at a junction if to do so would cause the cyclist going straight ahead to stop or swerve.

Rule H2 

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

Rule 151 

In slow moving traffic motorists should allow pedestrians or cyclists to cross in front of you.

Rule 140 

Motorists should give way to cyclists in a cycle lane especially when approaching from behind.

Rule 163 

  • Leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists at speeds of up to 30mph and give them more space when overtaking at higher speeds.
  • Pass horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles at speeds under 10 mph and allow at least 2 metres space.
  • Allow at least 2 metres space and keep to a low speed when passing a pedestrian who is walking in the road (e.g. where there is no pavement).
  • You should wait behind the motorcyclist, cyclist, horse rider, horse drawn vehicle or pedestrian and not overtake if it is unsafe or not possible to meet these clearances.

Rule 212

  • Give motorcyclists, cyclists, horse riders, horse drawn vehicles and pedestrians walking in the road, at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car.
  • Drivers should take extra care and give more space when overtaking motorcyclists, cyclists, horse riders, horse drawn vehicles and pedestrians in bad weather (including high winds) and at night.


By Shell Redfern – Account Executive


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