DRIVERS are set to play second fiddle to cyclists on UK roads under a controversial change to the new Highway Code.
Under new rules, motorists will have to give way to cyclists and pedestrians at junctions – regardless who was on the road first.
Previously priority was only given to cyclists and pedestrians if they were already on the road.
Cyclists will also now be advised to stay in the middle of the road and even ride “two abreast” to be more visible in certain situations.
Previously, there was no official guidance on where cyclists should position themselves – however, many motorists expected them to sit to the side of the road, near the kerb.
The new rules are set to come into place in late January, subject to getting the consent of parliament.
If MPs don’t vote to oppose the new Code, it will come into place automatically on January 29.
AA president Edmund King said: “With such fundamental changes to the Highway Code taking place to make our roads safer, we need to ensure road users understand the new rules ahead of time.
“Getting the message out now would help avoid dangerous situations and remove any confusion on the roads before the new rules are adopted.”
The 2022 Highway Code has a new “road user hierarchy” meaning drivers of more dangerous vehicles must be extra careful.
It dictates that cars must be more responsible around cyclists and pedestrians.
Cars indicating a left or right turn will have to give way to cyclists coming from behind or moving straight on.
And riders will be told to give way to pedestrians on shared-use cycle tracks.
A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “The proposed upcoming changes to The Highway Code will improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders.”
Other key Highway Code rule changes include a ban on flashing your lights.
Motorists must also keep any electric car charging cables out of the way of pedestrians.
And in very slow or stopped traffic, drivers must let pedestrians walk out in front of their vehicles.
Here are six more major Highway Code changes to look out for in January.
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