Highway Code changes: Major safety updates added to address road safety concerns

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The changes were made on September 14, and was only the second set of changes made to the Code since August 2019. It was the largest overhaul of the Code since mid-2018.

This was only the second set of changes made since August 2019.

In this set of changes, two new rules were added in addition to updates to 33 rules.

Rule 275 was added and looked to address safety when drivers stop due to a breakdown or an accident.

It states that if a driver has to stop their car due to an incident or a breakdown, they should attempt to halt in a relatively safe location.

This should allow the driver, any passengers and the vehicle to be in less danger from moving traffic.

A designated parking area is the safest spot to pull over.

A service area is the safest place to stop on highways and other high-speed routes. 

Due to being so close to high-speed traffic, hard shoulders offer less protection than other locations of relative safety.

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After stopping, the driver and any passengers should remain as far away from the car and moving traffic as possible.

Another new change, Rule 270, clarifies: “Emergency areas are located along motorways without hard shoulders or where the hard shoulder is used some of the time as an extra lane.”

They also added images to ensure that drivers understand how to recognise an emergency area and that “emergency areas are for emergency use only”.

The Highway Code was updated to reflect a new “hierarchy of road users”.

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