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5 Things You Didnt Know About the Highway Code

The Highway Code is the ultimate learning aid if you’re about to take a driving theory test. Edition one, published in 1931, was a paltry 18 pages. Today, it’s packed with 145 pages, containing more than 300 rules. While you get your head around that, here are 5 more things you never knew about the Highway Code.

#1 – There’s a Speed Limit Section for Powered Wheelchairs and Scooters Did you know? Rule 39 of the Highway Code says that ‘powered wheelchairs and scooters MUST NOT exceed a speed of 4 mph on pavements or in pedestrian areas. You may need to reduce your speed to adjust to other pavement users who are unable to move out of your way quickly enough or where a pavement is too narrow.’

#2 - There was No Green Cross Code Until 1978

Yes… instructing pedestrians on how and where to cross the road safely was not introduced until 1978. Before the Green Cross Code, pedestrians caused pandemonium on Britain’s roads by crossing how and wherever they liked. Interestingly, the Highway Code now contains 7 types of pedestrian crossing, and details on how to use them!

#3 – Horse-Drawn Vehicles Should be Fitted with Two Red Rear Reflectors!

In an age where a good old fashioned horse and cart/carriage is a rare sight on Britain’s roads, it’s great that the Highway Code maintains some sort of nostalgia. Not sure how likely you are to be quizzed on horse-drawn vehicles during your driving theory test, but stranger things have happened.

Just in case you decide to saddle up and travel on horseback with a cart/carriage in tow, at least you will know that two red reflectors must be fitted at the rear. Whether this is on the horse or cart/carriage is anyone’s guess.

#4 – There are 5 Different Coloured Road Studs

Road studs - CatseyesTM to you and me - were invented in 1933 and now there are 5 different colours of the things. The chances of a question popping up on your theory test about the colour of CatseyesTM, and what they’re used for, is likely. Thankfully, the Highway Code reveals all:

· White studs… mark the lanes or the middle of a road

· Red studs… mark the left edge of a road

· Amber studs... mark a central reservation of a dual carriageway or motorway

· Green studs mark… the edge of a main carriageway at lay-bys and slip roads

· Green/yellow studs… indicate temporary adjustments to lane layouts, e.g. where road works are taking place

There, that will help you avoid a ‘cat’astrophe when a CatseyeTM question appears on your theory test.

#5 – Don’t Use Your Mobile Phone to Report an Accident

Bizarrely, rules 275 and 283 of the Highway Code recommend that you don’t use your mobile phone to report your involvement in an accident. Perhaps a cruel irony, but it’s more likely that many drivers were using a mobile phone to cause an accident!

Rather than using your mobile phone to report an accident, the Highway Code advises the use of the roadside emergency telephone. Why? These phones connect directly to the Highways Agency or the police. They track your exact location and dispatch the emergency services automatically, plus it costs you nothing to make the call.

Get your hands on the latest Highway Code, free and ready to read!

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