Changes to the highway code you need to know
6 June 2023
By Joy Pearson
The Highway Code is a set of rules and guidelines that govern how drivers should behave on the roads in the UK. The Highway Code is updated regularly to reflect changes in the road conditions and to improve road safety. In 2023, there are a number of changes to the highway code that drivers should be aware of, so that's what we will be discussing in today's post.
One of the most significant changes to the highway code in 2023 is the introduction of the 'Dutch reach'. This is a technique that encourages drivers and passengers to use their far hand to open the door of the vehicle, forcing them to turn their body and check for cyclists and other road users before exiting. This simple but effective technique can help reduce the number of 'dooring' incidents, where a cyclist collides with a car door that has been opened unexpectedly.
The new Highway Code will also provide a clearer guidance on pedestrian priority at crossings. Drivers will be reminded that pedestrians have priority at zebra crossings and that they should not park near a zebra crossing. The new code will also clarify that pedestrians have the right of way at all times on pedestrian crossings, including those with traffic lights.
Another new change to the Highway Code in 2023, will also provide a clear guidance on safe passing distances between vehicles and cyclists. Drivers will be advised to give cyclists at least 1.5 meters of space when passing them as speeds under 30mph, and at least 2 meters when passing them at speeds over 30mph. This change is designed to improve safety for cyclists on the road.
Finally, the new highway code will introduce tougher penalties for careless and dangerous driving. Drivers who commit offences such as driving too close to cyclists or failing to give way to pedestrians at a crossing may face higher fines and penalty points on their license. This is designed to encourage drivers to take more care on the roads and to improve road safety for all users.
In 2023, changes to the Highway Code are designed to improve road safety and make the roads safer for everyone. Whether you're a driver, cyclist, or pedestrian, it's important to be aware of these changes and to follow the new guidance. By working together and following the rules of the road, we can all help to make the roads safer and reduce the number of accidents on our roads.