Many motorists in the UK are often under the assumption that The Highway Code only applies to car drivers.
However, anyone considered to be a ‘road user’ should observe the rules, too. And friends, that includes our lovely van drivers.
So, if you don’t want to be caught out at the end of this month (from the 29th of Jan), keep reading to ensure you’re up-to-date with the latest changes to the Highway Code.
What is The Highway Code?
Let’s cut to the chase (although we’re quite certain chasing anything on the road would be a big no-no when it comes to The Highway Code—unless you’re the police, of course).
The Highway Code contains essential reading featuring advice, guidance, and most importantly, mandatory rules to abide by if you’re considered to be a user of roads (so pretty much anyone then).
If you fancy a bit of heavy bedtime reading, you can brush up on the many sections of the Highway Code right here.
What’s going to change?
If you’ve heard some of the rule changes are causing some controversy, you’d be right. Many people fear they could contribute to more accidents, especially if people aren’t aware of the changes.
We’ve broken the main changes down for you here:
- Pedestrians and cyclists (or more vulnerable road users) will be given priority at junctions and crossings – so no matter how late you’re running, pay extra attention
- Van drivers should use the method of “Dutch reach” when opening their van doors (see The AA’s explanation here) to keep pedestrians safe
- More space to be given to cyclists when being overtaken by van drivers (a minimum of 1.5 metres and more if you’re going more than 30mph
- Harsher rules for using your mobile phone when driving (don’t take photos or videos – it’s now an offence; don’t skip that song on Spotify – changing the music could result in a fine; and definitely no playing games on your mobiles – whether you’re at a red light night or not
See this tweet from the lovely Scots breaking it all down in more detail, and providing images of the hierarchy to come.
What should I do now?
Well, now you’re up-to-date, the best thing to do is to comply with the new rules once the government brings them in.