The Consumer Lawyer

Latest changes to the Highway code

By Dean Dunham – 30 January 2022

This year sees a major shake up to the Highway Code. Three of the new rules are likely to catch people out the most and they come into effect from this Saturday. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Drivers no longer have priority at junctions

Current rule: At present drivers have priority at junctions unless the other road user is half way across the junction.

New rule: From Saturday, if when turning at a junction you are faced with a pedestrian, cyclist, scooter or horse-rider, and they are preparing to cross the road, these more vulnerable road users have right of way.

2. All traffic must stop for pedestrians waiting at crossings

Current rule: At present drivers, cyclists and horse riders only have to stop at a zebra or parallel crossing if a pedestrian is already walking across.

New rule: From Saturday, drivers, cyclists and horse-riders are legally required to stop at zebra  and parallel crossings if pedestrians are waiting to cross, not just if they are already crossing.


3. Use of handheld mobiles and devices are banned, except in emergency

Current rule: The use of mobile phones to call and text was banned in December 2003. However, this left a huge loophole and meant you could technically still use other functions on your phone whilst driving so long as it wasn’t related to a call or text.

New rule: From Saturday the loophole is closed meaning you cannot use your mobile or handheld device for anything, including taking videos or photos, scrolling through playlists or playing games—even if the vehicle isn’t moving. You can still use your phone hands free.

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