Update – 60 per cent of UK driver’s unaware of 2022 Highway Code updates

The Highway Code - Mudissima / Shutterstock.com

15:31 (September 5) – A poll undertaken by the AA of more than 13,000 motorists found that three in five were unaware of changes to the Highway Code and had not read them.

The high number who have yet to update themselves with the 50 or more changes made earlier in the year, will be cause for concern for the authorities.

This is particularly true given that many of the changes are designed to make the roads safer for vulnerable users, such as cyclists, walkers and horse-riders. The changes also include guidance for cyclists who are also required to take greater care with pedestrians.

The figures suggest about half of those canvassed had heard of some or all of the changes, but one in ten of those aged 18 to 54 were completely unaware that any changes had been made. Around five per cent of those aged 55 or over said they had not heard of the changes.

Tim Rankin, Managing Director of AA Accident Assist, told Sky News: “For many, the updated Highway Code formalises safe and sensible road craft, however, we are concerned that so many still haven’t read the rules.

“While we are pleased that many of the changes can be successfully recalled, we’d like more drivers to know the rules outright so they can keep themselves and others safe.

“It is in everyone’s interest to take every measure that helps avoid collisions and remove confusion from the road, so we urge those that still haven’t read the updated Code to do so as soon as possible.”

14:54 (September 3) – UK drivers are being warned as the summer holidays come to an end, to refresh their awareness of the new motoring laws that came into effect this year.

This is particularly true this Saturday, September 3 as holidaymakers travel home after their vacations with police presence likely to be stepped up. Policing of the UK’s roads will also change in the coming weeks away from keeping the holiday traffic flowing to enforcing the law.

So what has changed this year?

Probably the most notable is the shift to allowing councils to enforce moving violations and infringements that required the police to be present. That change allows all towns and cities to apply for the authority to issue such fines, which if granted will allow the local authority to issue fines using CCTV.

Cardiff and London motorists will be well aware of what this means, with both cities having been allowed to issue tickets for a range of violations including blocking an intersection, stopping in a no-stopping zone, using a bus lane and more.

The second and probably the least understood is the use of mobile phones when driving. The laws covering mobile phone usage have been tightened up to make it illegal to use one other than hands-free, under all circumstances.

This change means that any usage of the phone when behind the wheel, stopped or otherwise is no longer legal.

The UK also introduced rules covering the passing of cyclists in an effort to reduce the death toll, bringing the country in line with much of Europe. Drivers are now required to give cyclists 1.5 metres when overtaking, which is not always easy – but it is the law and people have been fined after cyclists filmed those that got too close.

This is pretty much a case of taking your time and taking care, it’s in both your and the cyclists’ interests.

Clean air or green zones have also been introduced this year as they have in Europe, which effectively bars polluting vehicles from areas that have such a designation. For most people, this is not an issue, particularly if you are driving a late mode, hybrid or electric vehicle.

Whilst not all cities and towns have introduced clean air zones, the number is likely to increase in the coming years and could make these areas no go zones for older and vintage vehicles.

Then there is the need to ensure that your vehicle is conducive to driving, which is important as temperatures continue to rise. A car that has no fresh air or is too warm inside can lead to drowsiness and accidents. That could result in your being fined or being found to be the cause of an accident making you liable.

And finally, speed limits. Many areas have reduced the speed limit in urban areas to 20mph, which for many cars is very slow. Exceeding that speed is very easy and could result in fines and points on your licence, so take care.

Driving on the continent

The continent has also seen many changes to driving regulations including speed limit changes, the introduction of green zones and mobile phone usage. There are also new rules around the transport of goods and the use of international driver’s licences, although the UK has managed to negotiate the acceptance of UK driving licences in most countries it is best to check validity before travelling.

Finally, customs regulations have changed since BREXIT as have many rules regarding insurance and breakdown cover.

Before you travel, it is best to check out the government’s advice by visiting www.gov.uk.

Be warned, UK drivers need to be aware of new motoring laws that have and will be introduced in the coming months, with Transport Minister Grant Shapps keen to tackle many road issues including the use of bicycles on public roads.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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