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James Armstrong white clock learner driver8 minute read Car Sharing Learner Drivers

Highway code changes

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re wondering what the new highway code changes are, well so are a lot of other people. On the 29th of January 2022 there were some 50 changes to the highway code that have caused…

James Armstrong

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re wondering what the new highway code changes are, well so are a lot of other people. On the 29th of January 2022 there were some 50 changes to the highway code that have caused some discussion in the media and on social channels, so we thought it would be good to take a look at 4 of these changes.

What are the new changes to the highway code

Whether you’ve already passed your test or you’re a learner driver looking to take your
theory test these new changes are important, and not just from a driving point of view. Below we’ll cover 4 of these new changes and how they may affect you out on the roads…

1. The dutch reach

The dutch reach was actually something we highlighted last year as a great way to protect
cyclists out on the road. This is guidance rather than law, but with more and more cyclists on
the road, a slightly different way of opening the door could save people getting seriously
insured, and savings on your insurance costs going up.

What is the dutch reach?

Step 1: Reach
Reach across to your car door handle with the hand that is furthest away from the door.
Step 2: Swivel
Reaching across with your arm will force you to swivel your body so you can look into your
rear view mirror and out the side of your window.
Step 3: Look back
Look over your shoulder to see if there is any oncoming traffic.
Step 4: Open slowly
Once you’ve checked the road is clear, slowly open your car door and step out facing the

Want to know more about what it is and where it comes from. Well, you’re in luck as you can read all about the dutch reach here.

2. Ban on use of mobile phones

It was already illegal to hold a phone or sat nav while driving. But with the new changes,
drivers will now also be banned from taking pictures and videos, scrolling through playlists or playing games. Makes sense! We’ve also covered the questions most people have…

Can I still use a phone hands free?

Yes, you can if you’re using…
A Bluetooth headset
Voice command
A dashboard holder or mat
A windscreen mount
A built-in sat nav

Can I use my phone if the car has stopped?

No, not if you’re…

Stopped at traffic lights
Queuing in traffic
Supervising a learner driver
That said, there have been questions around paying for food at drive-thrus like McDonalds, KFC… you know the ones. In this instance, if the car is at a window and is ‘stationary’ you are allowed to use your phone to pay for those chips!

When can I use a hand held phone?

You can use a hand-held phone if…

you’re safely parked
you need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop

What fine would I get if caught using a phone while driving?

You could land yourself with 6 penalty points and a £200 fine if you use a hand-held phone
when driving. Don’t forget you can also get points on a provisional licence when learning to drive! This will also affect your insurance costs for up to 5 years. These come into effect on 25th March 2022


3. Priority at junctions

Up until now if say a car was turning left (unless there was a zebra crossing or set of traffic
lights giving priority to the pedestrian) the car was free to make the turn, but now this has changed to give priority to the more vulnerable. The rule says: “At a junction you should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which or from which you are turning.”
According to the highway code this should make things clear for…

When people are crossing or waiting to cross at a junction, other traffic should give
If people have started crossing and traffic wants to turn into the road, the people
crossing have priority and the traffic should give way
People driving, riding a motorcycle or cycling must give way to people on a zebra
crossing and people walking and cycling on a parallel crossing
A parallel crossing is similar to a zebra crossing, but includes a cycle route alongside the
black and white stripes.

4. Hierarchy of road users

The last of our 4 on this article. Like we said at the top, it’s important for learner drivers to
make sure they are aware of all these new rules before taking a theory or practical test. If
you need any other tips on how to pass your driving test first time we’ve got you covered.
The introduction section of The Highway Code has been updated to include 3 new rules
about the new ‘hierarchy of road users’.

It’s important that all road users:
Are aware of The Highway Code
Are considerate to other road users
Understand their responsibility for the safety of others

Learner driver insurance

If you want to pass your driving test, why not consider private practice? Just make sure you’re insured before getting behind the wheel.

Our learner driver insurance lets you practice in a friend or family member’s car from 1 hour right up to 180 days. They don’t need to worry about their annual policy, because with Veygo, the owner’s no claims bonus is completely protected.
James Armstrong

James is the CEO of Veygo, a leader in short-term car insurance. Former Head of Risk within Admiral Group Insurance and over 15 years in the financial sector. James is keen to learn more about learner drivers, and car drivers in general, to change the world of car insurance and get more people behind the wheel.

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