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The Highway Code | An Introduction for Learner Drivers

Driving isn’t all about driving, there are so many other factors to consider when it comes to motoring. Britain’s road rules are set out in the Highway Code and this is Book Theory Test Today’s crash course to this important guide.

What is the Highway Code?

The Highway Code provides advice, guidance, information and mandatory road rules for every motorist in the UK. The purpose of the Highway Code is to promote road safety.

First published on April 14, 1931 as an 18 page guide, the Highway Code is now in its 85th year and during that time it has evolved in order to reflect modern motoring.

The Highway Code is applicable to motorists in England, Scotland and Wales and factors in the most vulnerable road users including:

  • Cyclists
  • Disabled or older people
  • Horse riders
  • Motorcyclists
  • Pedestrians (especially children)

All of whom, along with car drivers, have a responsibility to show consideration for other road users.

Are the Highway Code rules a legal requirement?

The majority of rules in the Highway Code are legal requirements and anyone ignoring the rules is committing a criminal offence. The consequence of breaking the rules could be a fine, penalty points, disqualification from driving or losing your licence.

In cases of extreme breaches, the consequence could be prison. In the Highway Code, those rules considered unbreakable are identified by the words ‘MUST or MUST NOT’. Next to these rules, you will find an abbreviated reference to legislation which creates the offence.

While not all the rules will lead to a person being prosecuted if broken, the Highway Code can be used as evidence in court under the Road Traffic Act in order to establish liability against an offender.

An excerpt from the Road Traffic Act states: “A failure on the part of a person to observe a provision of The Highway Code shall not in itself render that person liable to criminal proceedings of any kind, but any such failure may in any proceedings (whether civil or criminal, and including proceedings for an offence under the Traffic Acts, the [1981 c. 14.] Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981 or sections 18 to 23 of the [1985 c. 67.] Transport Act 1985) be relied upon by any party to the proceedings as tending to establish or negative any liability which is in question in those proceedings.”

What’s the point of the Highway Code rules?

Book Theory Test Today says: “Having knowledge of the Highway Code and knowing how to apply that knowledge will help to reduce accidents and fatalities on Britain’s roads. Reducing the death toll on the UK’s roads is not just the responsibility of road users, it’s something that everyone person needs to take ownership of.

The guidance contained in the Highway Code will also help you to pass your theory test and practical driving exam. It’s a useful resource for learner driver and full licence holder, alike.”

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Book Theory Test Today offers an intermediary service assisting clients with booking a UK theory test, or practical test, at test centres across the nation. The service also supplies resources to help you prepare for your theory test – Ready to take your theory test? Book your theory test online today…

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