Changes to Highway Code overtaking when driving or cycling

The Highway Code is being updated from the end of January 2022 to help protect vulnerable road users.
These updates to the rules aim to protect the most vulnerable road users. Creating a hierarchy of users, including pedestrians, particularly children, older or disabled people, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders.

 

There will be updated guidance on safe passing distances and speeds for people driving or riding a motorcycle when overtaking vulnerable road users, including:

  • leaving at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) when overtaking people cycling at speeds of up to 30mph, and giving them more space when overtaking at higher speeds
  • passing people riding horses or driving horse-drawn vehicles at speeds under 10 mph and allowing at least 2 metres (6.5 feet) of space
  • allowing at least 2 metres (6.5 feet) of space and keeping to a low speed when passing people walking in the road (for example, where there’s no pavement)

Wait behind them and do not overtake if it’s unsafe or not possible to meet these clearances.

You may cross a double-white line if necessary (provided the road is clear) to overtake someone cycling or riding a horse if they are travelling at 10 mph or less (Rule 129).

People cycling passing slower-moving or stationary traffic

The updated code will confirm that people cycling may pass slower-moving or stationary traffic on their right or left.

They should proceed with caution as people driving may not be able to see them. This is particularly important:

  • on the approach to junctions
  • when deciding whether it is safe to pass lorries or other large vehicles

Full details of the changes can be found here.

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