The first revised Highway Code in eight years has been unveiled today containing new and updated rules.
The code is 50 per cent bigger than previous versions with 29 extra rules including a new section for people who use powered wheelchairs or mobility scooters.
Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said the code offers the latest road safety rules and advice, as well as promoting greater courtesy and understanding among all road users, particularly those who are most vulnerable.
The launch comes as government casualty figures for last year are released showing a 13% increase in deaths among child pedestrians and a 55% cent increase in deaths among child cyclists, as well as a 5% jump in motorcyclist deaths. However, the overall number of people killed in road accidents fell by 1% to 3,172.
Alongside the revised Highway Code is a new Safety Code for Novice Drivers, to help motorists better navigate their first few months behind the wheel. It offers practical advice such as ‘If you are driving with passengers, you are responsible for their safety. Don’t let them distract you or encourage you to take risks’ and ‘Never show off or try to compete with other drivers, particularly if they are driving badly’.
The minister added: ‘The official Highway Code is for life, not just for passing your driving test. It is a crucial tool for all road users – car drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians alike – and applies to every stage of your life. Road safety is a responsibility we all share and everyone should have a copy of the code to keep their knowledge up-to-date.’
Highway Code history
The Highway Code was first launched in 1931 – at the cost of one old penny – there were just 2.3 million motor vehicles in Great Britain, yet over 7,000 people were killed in road accidents each year.
The revised Highway Code is available free online, or can be bought at bookstores.