Campaigners have warned major new road rules coming into effect this week will increase road rage incidents and resentment towards cyclists.

The Highway Code is something all road users should be well aware of. It includes everything you need to know about being on the road, with all of the laws, advice and information required to safely get around.

It’s not a static document, though, and is occasionally updated based on new learnings. For 2022, a series of updates have been introduced, largely focused on priorities for everyone from pedestrians to HGVs.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: New Highway Code rules. (PA)New Highway Code rules. (PA)

It is due to be updated on January 29 with the creation of a ‘hierarchy’ of road users, giving priority to those that are more vulnerable being a key change.

Critics of the changes including Alliance of British Drivers and IAM RoadSmart have warned the new rules could lead to dangerous confusion.

Neil Greig, the director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, a road safety charity, told the Times: “A lot of drivers are going to think that somebody cycling in the middle of the lane in front of them is doing it to deliberately slow them down. 

“That leads to conflict and road rage and inappropriate overtaking. Everybody needs to know all of these changes at the same time for it to work.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: New Highway Code rules. (PA)New Highway Code rules. (PA)

A spokesman for the Alliance of British Drivers added: “The proposed hierarchy of road users is likely to create or exacerbate resentment and ill feeling between different classes of road user, and may lead to irresponsible attitudes by cyclists and pedestrians.

“All road users have a responsibility towards all other users and should treat one another with respect and tolerance.”

An AA survey showed one in three drivers are unaware major changes to road rules aimed at protecting cyclists and pedestrians are due to take effect.

Despite the Department for Transport insisting ‘all road users are aware’ of what’s happening, the AA has warned that two-thirds of the 13,000 people it polled before Christmas did not know changes were coming.