The Official Highway Code

It is important for everyone to know and understand all the rules in The Highway Code, not just those that apply to one particular category of road user. You need to be aware of how other road users may, or are required to, act in any situation, for your own safety and that of others. Knowing and applying all the rules could help significantly reduce the number of road casualties and this is a responsibility we all share.

If it is quite a while since you took your test then you may not have looked at The Highway Code for some years. Just as driving or riding skills evolve and develop with time and experience, the rules and advice in the Code have changed and evolved over time, for any number of reasons. Many of those rules are legal requirements, and if you disobey them you are committing a criminal offence. You may be fined, given penalty points on your licence or be disqualified from driving. In the most serious cases you may be sent to prison. Such rules are identified by the use of the words 'MUST/MUST NOT' in red. Although failure to comply with the other rules of the Code will not, in itself, cause a person to be prosecuted, The Highway Code may be used in evidence in any court proceedings under the Traffic Acts to establish liability. This includes rules which use advisory wording such as 'should/should not' or 'do/do not'. Safety for every road user is of paramount importance. Ultimately, it is up to you to acquire and retain the knowledge contained in The Highway Code, regardless of whether you are a pedestrian or the user of any type of vehicle. It is your responsibility to ensure you keep up to date with the rules in The Highway Code – ignorance is no defence.