The Highway Code
The Highway Code is essential reading for learner drivers (especially if they are revising for the theory test) and full licence holders who want to drive 'correctly' and stay on the right side of the law.
The first edition was published in 1931 in a bid to reduce the high number of fatal collisions. In that year there were 2.3 million vehicles on the road and 7000 people were killed in road traffic accidents.1
To put that into context, in 2021 there were more than ten times as many vehicles on the road - 29.2 million - but 'only' 1,608 deaths.2
The reduction in fatal road traffic collisions after 1931 is not entirely due to the introduction of the Highway Code. The driving test - introduced in 1935 - was one of the biggest drivers of change. Others can be seen in the chart below. But despite only costing the equivalent of 37.5p, it forced drivers to obey the rules of the road, at least until they had passed the test!
The Highway Code expanded from 18 pages in 1931 to 135 in 2007 and some important changes to the rules were made in 2022. The 2007 edition is below.
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