On 29 January, The Highway Code changed. South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) is urging all road users to make sure they understand the changes.

The advisory changes to the Highway Code have been implemented to improve safety for people walking, cycling and horse riding.

As part of the new rules, a hierarchy of road users has been introduced to ensure those who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others.

Key changes

  • Clarifies who has priority at junctions
  • Provides guidance on safe passing distances
  • Includes the Dutch Reach for car occupants to protect passing cyclists and pedestrians
  • Making sure we’re acting with responsibility and respect to all road users

Specific amendments to the Code

  • Drivers should now give people crossing and waiting to cross and cyclists going straight ahead priority when turning in and out of junctions.
  • Drivers travelling at speeds up to 30mph should now leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking people cycling and give them more space when overtaking at higher speeds.
  • When driving, you should now pass horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles at speeds under 10mph and allow at least two metres of space.
  • You should now allow at least two metres of space and keep to a low speed when passing a pedestrian who is walking in the road.
  • Car users should now open their doors with the hand furthest from the door, to help them look over their shoulder to see cyclists or pedestrians nearby.
  • People may cycle in the centre of the lane or two abreast for their own safety, whilst allowing others to overtake when it is safe for them to do so.

Manager of South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership Joanne Wehrle said: “The Highway Code is essential reading for all. It is important that all road users are aware of the Code and are considerate towards each other.

“Under the new changes, every road user still has a responsibility to keep themselves and each other safe, and the changes mean being ready to give priority, leave space and be considerate of others.

“The changes do not just offer guidance on how we want users to behave – they signpost the kind of community we want to live in; towns cities and villages that are friendly and safe for people to ride, walk and cycle.

“Ultimately, knowing and applying The Highway Code will help keep our roads safe for everyone.”

The changes can be viewed in full by visiting: www.gov.uk/dft/highway-code-changes