THE first revised Highway Code in eight years has been unveiled by Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick.
The updated 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.
A new ‘Safety Code for Novice Drivers’, to help motorists better navigate their first few months behind the wheel, has also been added. It offers practical advice like ‘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"’
Fitzpatrick said: ‘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.’
The Code has also been updated to include new legislation that has been introduced on vehicle emissions and smoking in vehicles that are work places, as well as the provision of new stopping/directing powers to VOSA and Highways Agency Traffic Officers.
Alongside this, it references new initiatives like quiet lanes, high-occupancy vehicle lanes, home zones and active traffic management schemes that road users should be aware of, as well as increasing, re-writing or enhancing existing advice to promote greater co-operation between road users and further promote safety.
The revised Code has increased in size by approximately 50%. It includes 29 more rules than previously and many other rules have been increased, rewritten or enhanced to make things much clearer for all road users on how they should act or react in a variety of situations.
The Code costs £2.50 and is substantially updated every 8 to 10 years. The last significant revision was in 1999.