Highway code

The Highway Code: Important Changes You Need to Know About in 2024

The Highway Code is a crucial guide for everyone using roads in Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and other parts of the UK. It includes all the safety guidelines and rules you need to know when driving a car, motorcycle, EV, bicycle, or other transport. It is a comprehensive guideline for rules and regulations regarding pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.

Since the expert personal injury lawyer at Bonnar Accident Law wants to keep its readers updated with new changes and rules in the Highway Code, we’re briefly pointing out the most important changes that you need to know in 2024.

These updates to the 2024 Highway Code bring revised and updated rules and regulations to keep everyone safe on the roads in the UK. It is a commitment to protect all road users and enlighten them on the ever-evolving flow of traffic, vehicles, and users.

Glance through the following pointers and read them carefully to keep yourself updated with the new rules. It will help you prevent accidents while creating a safe road environment. You will also reduce any legal risk that you may face during an accident. But, if you unfortunately get into a road accident, don’t hesitate to call the personal injury solicitors at Bonnar Accident Law. We will help you claim the compensation you are due.

Here are the 2024 updates to the Highway Code:

1. Legal Obligations for Drivers (Updated)

These are some of the legal obligations for drivers and road users that have been updated in 2024 in the Highway Code.

What Has Changed

The updated and new rules in the Highway Code 2024 come with quite a few critical revisions and updates focused primarily on road safety. The updated rules and regulations will help implement a safer environment on the road for everyone using it including car drivers, motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians. All updates comply with the latest driving regulations in the Highway Code.

Adhere to Safe Driving Distances and Speed Limits

Adhering to speed limits and safe driving distances will now be even more strictly enforced.

  • Speed Limits in Urban Areas
    The urban areas will have lower speed limits to protect and keep pedestrians safe.
  • Speed Limits on Highways
    All highways will now have adjusted limits which will accommodate the updated safety measures as well as newer traffic patterns.
  • Safe Driving Distance when Following
    You will now be required to adhere strictly to a safe minimum distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, especially in worsening weather conditions such as heavy rains, fog, snowfall, etc.
  • Safe Driving Protocol for Overtaking
    The safe passing distance has been established clearly whenever you overtake motorcyclists and cyclists.

Using Mobile Phones is Prohibited While Driving

Further emphasis has been given to the prohibition of using mobile phones while driving, which has been reinforced in the 2024 Highway Code.

  • Penalties
    The penalties for using a mobile phone while driving have been increased with a potential driving ban for violators.
  • Hands-Free Kits
    You are not allowed to hold a mobile device while driving. It is strictly forbidden. You are only allowed to use approved hands-free kits while driving.

Drug and Drink Driving Laws are Enforced

All laws about drink-and-drug driving laws have been further strictly enforced to keep violators in check and discourage any future violations.

  • Penalties
    Driving drunk or after the use of drugs now has harsher penalties. You may even face longer license suspensions and may be mandated to join rehabilitation programs.
  • Random Checks
    Expect an increase in the number of random checks to deter offenders of drink-and-drug driving laws by law enforcement. It is to keep everyone safe on the roads.
  • Legal Limits
    The alcohol limit for drivers has been reduced while a zero-tolerance policy has been introduced for certain substances.

2. Vehicle Maintenance & Safety Checks (Enhanced Rules)

Here are the updated vehicle maintenance and safety checks that have been updated in the Highway Code 2024.

What Has Changed

The new rules in the Highway Code emphasise keeping your vehicles maintained properly to prevent any kind of breakdowns resulting in accidents. An effective and regular inspection and maintenance of your vehicle will ensure that you are adhering to road safety guidelines.

A Quick Guideline on Vehicle Safety Checks

Here are a few things you need to take care of for vehicle safety checks.

  • Brakes
    Always test your brakes whenever you are heading out on your vehicle. If you notice any kind of new vibration or noise when you brake, get it checked in the first instance as it may indicate a bigger underlying issue.
  • Tyres
    Always inspect your tyres regularly, especially when going on a longer route. Two things to check for are tyre pressure and tread depth. A worn-out or underinflated tyre can severely hamper vehicle control and handling, increasing the risk of a traffic accident.
  • Lights
    When you start your vehicle, get out and circle it to check if all lights are working properly. This includes checking for headlights, indicators, brake lights, and hazard lights. If you have a malfunctioning, blinking, or blown LED light or bulb, get it changed immediately.

3. Regulations for Motorcyclists (Revised)

Here are the updated and revised regulations for motorcyclists in the Highway Code 2024.

What Has Changed

The revisions to the regulations for motorcyclists will ensure that they are safe on the road, decrease the number of accidents, and keep everyone around them safe.

Updates for Motorcyclists

These are some of the updates.

  • Safety Guidelines
    The revised guidelines emphasise wearing extra protective gear like gloves, helmets, boots, etc. while wearing high-visibility clothing or clothing with reflective patches for easier visibility to other drivers.
  • Helmet Laws
    The newer rules further enforce the requirement of wearing a helmet that meets all safety standards in the UK. The helmets that provide the most protection are to be used, and they should comply with ECE 22.05 and ECE 22.06 standards.

Helmet Laws Compliance

Complying with helmet laws is a legal obligation which ensures your personal safety to avoid road accidents. The revised regulations are mentioned below.

  • Condition Check
    Regularly check your helmets for signs of wear and tear or any kind of damage. If your helmet has been damaged or worn due to excessive use, a fall, or a previous accident, change it immediately. Get a new one.
  • Proper Fit
    Always get a helmet that is a proper fit for you. It should be snug on your head. If it is too tight or too loose, get a new one that fits you perfectly. If it is not a proper fit, it will compromise your safety and may even cause more damage than protection.

Safety Guidelines for Motorcyclists

Here are a few safety guidelines for motorcyclists that are now in the 2024 Highway Code.

  • Routine Checks
    Do regular maintenance checks on your motorcycle to ensure that your brakes are working fine, all lights are working, and indicators are blinking, and all tyres are safe for use. The motorcycle should be in perfect condition whenever it is taken on the road.
  • Visibility
    Make yourself visible. Wear brightly coloured clothes or clothes that have reflective material to keep yourself visible to all road users at all times and in any weather conditions.
  • Defensive Riding
    Anticipate potential dangers and make it a habit of being mindful and aware of your surroundings whenever you are riding a motorcycle. Keep a safe distance from other road users, especially in areas where visibility is an issue. These are all key components of defensive riding.

The highway code

4. Traffic Signs & Road Markings (Updated)

You should be able to accurately identify and understand road signs and road markings. Here are a few changes to these in the Highway Code in 2024.

Why Accurate Interpretations is Crucial for Safe Driving

When you accurately interpret signs and road markings, you will keep yourself safe from any harm or danger. These signs are crucial for understanding the rules, guidance, and warnings you see on the road.

Here are a few things you can ensure with accurate interpretation.

  • Legal Compliance
    You will be able to comply with all legal obligations these signs and markings point out to you. It will help you prevent fines and penalties that may incur in case of a violation.
  • Prevention of Road Accidents
    A timely comprehension and action taken when danger approaches due to accurate interpretation of road signs and road markings will help prevent road accidents for all road users.
  • Smooth Flow of Traffic
    If you interpret the signs accurately, you become a seamless part of the orderly traffic movement and help in the prevention of traffic jams and collisions.

Explanation of New and Introduced Symbols

These are some of the new symbols in the 2024 Highway Code.

  • EV Charging Points
    This sign contains a plug icon which is accompanied by a parking bay and it indicates a location where your electric vehicle can be charged.
  • Cycle Lanes
    These signs depict a cyclist along with a directional arrow and it indicates lanes which are exclusive to cyclists. These help in ensuring safer overtaking distances when crossing cyclists.
  • Pedestrian Priority Zones
    These new markings indicate areas where pedestrians have the absolute right of way. Look out for zebra stripes next to a pedestrian icon.

5. Maintenance of the Hierarchy of Road Users’ Rights and Responsibilities

Here are the updates to the 2024 Highway Code changes in terms of the hierarchy of road users and their rights and responsibilities.

What Road User Hierarchy Means

The new 2024 Highway Code changes focus on maintaining a balanced hierarchy of road uses. It prioritises the most vulnerable groups first which include pedestrians, cyclists, and horse riders. This hierarchy ensures that all those road users who can cause the biggest harm must bear the biggest responsibility too towards reducing danger.

Guidelines for Drivers Facing Pedestrians Crossing the Road at Junctions or Crosswalks

When you approach a crosswalk or a junction, as a driver, you must give way to pedestrians who are waiting to cross or already crossing. The updated rules highlight again that pedestrians have the right of way. The rules demand that all drivers be highly aware of their surroundings when on the road to ensure this rule.

Safety at Intersections for Drivers and Cyclists

Since intersections can be risky as it is a convergence point for multiple road users, as a driver, you should do the following.

  • Signal Intention Clarity
    Always turn on your indicator well ahead of the turn to make your intention and your next move visible and highlighted to all road users, especially pedestrians and cyclists. A timely indication can help prevent road accidents.
  • Yield to Cyclists
    If you have cyclists that are approaching you from the left or behind, give them ample space to move without causing any collision or mishap.
  • Check Blind Spots
    Always check your blind spots carefully to spot any cyclists or pedestrians that may be in your path but not visible from your driver’s seat. Move your head to get a clear picture of your blind spot before making your move.

6. Automated and Electric Vehicles (Updated)

Semi or fully autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles are increasing daily on the roads of the UK. Here are a few updates regarding these in the Highway Code in 2024.

How It Impacts Adoption and Development

The Highway Code updates in 2024 specify guidelines that significantly impact the adoption and development of autonomous and electric vehicles. These new provisions are to ensure that these new technologies integrate effortlessly into the existing road systems of the UK. It will greatly impact how all EV and autonomous vehicle manufacturers design, develop and comply their vehicles with updated safety standards and operational protocols.

Compliances for Operators and Manufacturers

All autonomous and EV manufacturers and operators must adhere to the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018. Some of the requirements are highlighted below.

  • Training Drivers and Users
    All drivers of EVs and users of autonomous vehicles must be provided ample and comprehensive training on operating these vehicles safely on the roads of the UK.
  • Safety Checks
    All autonomous and electric vehicles must meet rigorous and exhaustive safety standards.
  • Logging Crucial Data
    All records of the performance and incidents of autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles are to be maintained accurately for future data analysis and reflection.

7. Pedestrians’ Rights and Safety According to New Changes

The Highway Code in 2024 has been updated to accommodate further changes to pedestrian rights and safety.

Pedestrians in Urban Environments

The 2024 changes emphasise pedestrian safety in all urban areas especially where foot traffic is highly saturated and dense. Drivers are now obligated to prioritise pedestrians at crosswalks and junctions to ensure they may cross the road safely. These changes require drivers and motorists to be highly observant of their surroundings to reduce road accidents while ensuring road safety for everyone.

Using Pedestrian Crossings and Zebra Crossings Properly

You must be aware of the correct usage of pedestrian crossings like zebra crossings and crosswalks. As a driver, you must yield to pedestrians who are already crossing or waiting to cross. The new rules further enforce the need for drivers to be cautious of these areas and respect the right-of-way for pedestrians. This promotes a higher sense of shared responsibility for road safety for all users.

Road Safety Enhancements for Visually-Impaired Pedestrians

For impaired pedestrians, new features like tactile paving will help them safely guide when crossing a road. Furthermore, the installation of audible signals at crossings provides audio cues for the pedestrians whenever it is safe for them to cross. These inclusive and accessibility-driven enhancements make our urban environments safer for everyone.

8. Rules for Vehicle Parking

The Highway Code in 2024 brings a few changes in the vehicle parking rules which will ensure that the mobility of all kinds of traffic in an urban environment is safer for everyone involved.

Updated Guidelines for Cars

Here are the updated guidelines for cars.

  • Electric Vehicle Charging Points
    Any parking or charging spot that is specifically for an electric vehicle cannot be occupied by a non-electric vehicle. Fines will be imposed upon violators.
  • Parking on Curbs
    There will be severe enforcement against anyone who parks a vehicle on the curb in urban areas to restrict the flow of pedestrians. If it becomes obstructed for pedestrians, it may follow with a fine or a penalty.
  • Parallel Parking
    You must ensure that your vehicle is parked at a minimum distance of one meter from other vehicles so they can safely enter and exit the parking and the road.

Updated Guidelines for Motorcycles

Here are the updated guidelines for motorcycles.

  • Secure Locking
    As a motorcyclist, please ensure that your motorcycle is securely locked, even if it is in a designated parking bay. This will prevent theft and obstruction of traffic flow for others.
  • Dedicated Motorcycle Bays
    As a motorcyclist, ensure that you only park in a designated motorcycle parking bay. Any use of a car-only space for parking your motorcycle is highly discouraged unless it has been explicitly allowed.

Updated Guidelines for Bicycles

Here are the updated guidelines for bicycles.

  • In Residential Areas
    As a cyclist, in a residential area, you are permitted to store your bicycle in a shared communal space, only if it does not block a common pathway or an emergency exit.
  • Bicycle Racks
    As a cyclist, you should only utilise public bicycle racks whenever they are available. Avoid obstructing any pedestrian pathway by parking your bicycle there.

Updated highway code

How Do I Make a Road Accident Claim at Bonnar Accident Law

Follow these five simple steps in case you get into a road accident and want to claim your compensation via Bonnar Accident Law:

  1. Discuss and get an expert legal review from us for your claim.
  2. We prepare your road accident claim for you.
  3. We pursue your road accident claim.
  4. We run you through the court proceedings to inform you
  5. We hand you your cheque if your claim is successful, after apportioning an agreed percentage of the lump sum we win for your claim.

Read more on our claim process.

Get in touch with our personal injury solicitors to claim your road accident compensation.

claims process

What does No Win No Fee actually mean?


What does No Win No Fee actually mean?

“No Win No Fee” is probably something you hear often on brash television and radio adverts, but what does it actually mean?

Anyone can say the words “no win no fee” but none of that means anything unless it is backed up with the small print.

At Bonnar Accident Law, we offer a true “No Win, No Fee” policy, which means we will not charge you a single penny unless we win your case.

This means that you don’t need to worry – we will only be paid if we win your case for you.

But do I need to pay for the fees of the case in the mean-time?

No you do not. While your case is ongoing, Bonnar Accident Law will cover the fees of your case, whether that means hiring a non-partisan and unbiased medical professional, or covering court fees, we will pay for this from our own accounts while the case is going on, and you needn’t worry about anything, because we won’t charge you a penny unless we win for you.

Our No Win No Fee solicitors will only take on cases we are confident we will win, and our track record speaks for itself.

If we win, you’ll be charged a fee which will have been pre-arranged with you – no surprises or hidden extra costs. The details of our prearranged fee will, of course, vary from case to case and you can be rest assured that everything will be explained to you fully right from the start.

Make a free enquiry

If you have been injured in an accident, please do not delay. Call us free now on 0800 163 978 or complete a Free Online Claim Enquiry and we will soon be in touch.

How to Stop Cold Callers

Five Top Tips on How to Deal with Persistent Cold Callers




Five Top Tips on How to Deal with Persistent Cold Callers

If you’re sick of nuisance cold-callers disrupting your time, below are five top tips to help you get rid of them.

At Bonnar Accident Law, we never cold call, but unfortunately there are many others who aren’t so concerned or respectful of people’s privacy.

Cold callers are usually sales-people who have been trained to pressure you into buying their product or services.

Often, these types of cold-calling companies will have found your phone number through online forms you may have filled out. Remember to be vigilant when filling in forms online and stop to think if you’re comfortable sharing your details on a particular site.

Here are our top tips to getting get of cold callers.

  1. Take your number down, permanently. You can do this by registering with Telephone Preference Service (TPS) after which point it will be illegal for any company or business to call you without your permission. If calls persist after you register with TPS, companies will likely have your phone number from previous calls to you. Simply and firmly inform them that you are protected by the TPS and you do not wish to receive any more phone calls from them.
  2. Report unsolicited calls. If you continue to receive unsolicited calls, report the company calling to TPS on 0345 070 0707 or the Information Commissioner’s Office on 0303 123 1115.
  3. Be firm and clear. If you end up having to speak to cold caller, be firm and clear in telling them that you will report them. Ask for the company name, write down the number and time of the call and report them immediately.
  4. Block unwanted numbers. Your mobile phone should have the ability to block any unwanted numbers. If you receive a cold call from a new number, simply block it on your phone.
  5. Be careful with online forms. Take a moment to think whether you really wish to share your details with certain sites.

If you’ve been involved in an accident, speak to one of our friendly and expert solicitors today.