There’s a new hierarchy on our roads

    At Athlon we are dedicated to keeping you up to date with industry updates and any changes to Government legislation that might impact our customers. Included in this, is the highway code. Not usually a big news topic, however in January 2022 this all changed with a big shake-up to a few of the fundamental rules - impacting drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

    Here we have summarised the six key changes you need to be aware of, as a driver, to help you understand what the new rules mean and ultimately keep you and others safe when on the road.

    Change 1 : Hierarchy of the road

    There’s a new hierarchy on our roads, designed to protect the most vulnerable road users.

    The structure of the new hierarchy has been determined based on who would be most at risk in the event of a collision.

    The new policy emphasises the importance of road safety by taking precautions to help avoid accidents, as well as placing the most amount of responsibility on those capable of inflicting the most damage.

    Change 2 : Pedestrians crossing at junctions

    You can now find new rules in place to help protect pedestrians when crossing the road.

    It has been decided that traffic should give way to pedestrians waiting or crossing at a junction. When crossing a pedestrian now has right of way even to vehicles turning into the road, who now will have to wait.

    The updated Highway Code also clarifies that  drivers must give way to pedestrians at both Zebra and Parallel crossings.

    As our most vulnerable road user it is vital we do all we can to minimise the risk to pedestrians, as well as drivers, through adhering to the new policies and actively putting safety first.

    Change 3 : Overtaking

    More guidance, than policy, but it is also worth noting how to safely overtake another road user.

    You are allowed to cross a double-white line if required to safely overtake someone cycling or riding a horse, providing they are travelling at or below 10mph. Cyclists travelling up to 30mph must be given at least 1.5m clearance when being overtaken - this distance will increase with speed. Likewise, a horse rider travelling under 10mph should expect to be given 2m clearance when being passed by an overtaking vehicle.

    Furthermore, when overtaking pedestrians walking in the road you are required to allow at least 2m of space and maintain a low speed until cleared.

    Remember, if it is not possible to meet these clearances, you are advised to wait behind them until it is safe to overtake.

    As a driver, your responsibility isn’t limited to being on the road. The new guidance sets out to help drivers use simple tips and tricks to be safer in and around your vehicle.

    When leaving your vehicle

    The Government now recommends using the ‘Dutch Reach’ method when exiting your vehicle to maximise safety. This method involves opening the car door using the opposite hand to the door, as it makes you look over your shoulder before opening the door.

    Before you journey


    The modern-day guidance now includes charging points. It is suggested that you should park close to the charger to avoid a tripping hazard.

    Whilst charging it is recommended you display a warning light, and after charging you should ensure all charging cables are returned neatly to avoid risk.

    and maintenance

    It is recommended that drivers carry out frequent vehicle maintenance checks in order to ensure their vehicle is always up to road standards. Including...

    • Tyres
    • Steering
    • Suspension
    • Fluid levels

    Keeping your fleet 'On The Road' with our guide

    From advice on issues like Service, Maintenance and Repair to tips and pointers on accident management, roadside assistance, tyres and windscreens - all in one place.

    The Highway Code

    To familiarise yourself with the full the set of changes, rules and guidance, review the updated UK Highway Code on the Government website.