Changes to the Highway Code take effect from today with up to a third of motorists unaware of the changes.

Major changes to the Highway Code requiring drivers to have more responsibility to look out for cyclists and pedestrians risk failing to boost safety due to not being widely promoted, campaigners have warned.

Charity Cycling UK said that a “long-term and well-funded communications campaign” is needed to make people aware of the update.

The Highway Code, which contains advice and rules for people on Britain’s roads, is being amended this weekend to introduce a risk-based hierarchy of road users.

New Highway Code rules 2022 – test your knowledge

New Highway Code rules – what you need to know

Here’s everything you need to know about what’s new as the rules of the roads receive an update.

Hierarchy of road users

A new hierarchy means people in charge of vehicles that can cause the most harm in the event of a collision have the greatest responsibility to look out for other road users.

Walking, cycling or riding in shared spaces

Cyclists should not overtake people walking or riding a horse in shared spaces closely or at high speed, while pedestrians should take care not to obstruct paths.

Positioning of cyclists

Cyclists should make themselves as visible as possible by riding in the centre of lanes on quiet roads, in slower-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions.

Pedestrians crossing at junctions

Turning traffic should give way when people are crossing or waiting to cross at junctions.

Traffic must give way to people on zebra crossings.

Overtaking cyclists

Drivers travelling at speeds of up to 30mph should leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists.

They should give more space when overtaking at higher speeds.

Opening car doors

Car occupants should open doors using their hand on the opposite side to the door, making them turn their head to look over their shoulder.

This technique, known as the Dutch Reach, reduces the chances of doors being opened into the path of cyclists and motorcyclists.

Overtaking cyclists at junctions

When cyclists are going straight ahead at a junction, they have priority over traffic waiting to turn into or out of a side road, unless road signs or markings indicate otherwise.

Cycling in groups

People cycling can ride two abreast but should be considerate of the needs of other road users when in groups.


Drivers should take extra care when entering roundabouts to make sure they do not cut across cyclists.

Electric vehicle charging

Electric car owners using a public chargepoint should park near the device and avoid creating a trip hazard from trailing cables.