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Guide to The
Highway Code

The Beginners Guide to The Highway Code

“Always be careful and considerate towards others. As a responsible citizen you have a duty to the community not to endanger or impede others in their lawful use of the King's Highway”

As an opening to all users of roads across the United Kingdom, it summed it up. Published in 1931, the first edition of The Highway Code was available for just a penny, and created the foundations for the rules that still apply today. High on the priority list in the 1930s were animals on the road, the hand signals you should make to police constables, and your general manners. The Highway Code has evolved hugely since the formative years of automobility, and many people never even pick up a copy. But why? To take you through the wonderful world of The Highway Code, our team at BSM have unearthed the things you must know. Whether you are a cyclist, horse rider, pedestrian or even riding a quad bike, The Highway Code is your own road-legal bible.

What is the Highway Code?

The Highway Code is everything you need to know when using the road. It is packed full of vital information on traffic signs, vehicle maintenance, and even boat safety. That's right – you didn't think you could just drive a boat down the road, did you? Over the many years and editions of The Highway Code, it has changed to encompass the differing scenarios road users face. It’s something that will continue to develop over time.

Why is the Highway Code important?

Understanding The Highway Code is essential for every driver. It is the guidebook that helps you follow the rules of the road. The Code aids every road user. By abiding the rules, road users can stay safe, informed, and legal when driving, walking, riding, cycling and more. The more people that understand their important role in keeping themselves those around them safe, the better.

Keeping you up-to-date

It’s true that The Highway Code is great for learning and new drivers, but it’s just as beneficial for experienced drivers too. It changes regularly with the new scenarios on the road. For all your driving needs, worries, concerns or questions, The Highway Code is your guide.

Where can I read and learn the Highway Code?

● Paperback or eBook (available in English, Welsh or Irish)
● Listen to the audiobook version
● Download the mobile app (iOS or Android)
● Download the Highway Code pdf document for free
● Visit the online version on the UK Government website
● Print the Highway Code off at home
● Borrow a physical copy from your local library
● Buy the official CD-ROM version for your PC

Learning the Highway Code successfully largely depends on how you enjoy learning. Reading the Highway Code to begin with before jotting down key points on sticky notes and testing your knowledge could be the way forward. Or you could use the mobile app or CD-ROM that teaches and then tests your knowledge through multiple choice questions may be better suited. Take a look around online or in physical stores to see which method of learning best suits you.

Can The Highway Code improve driving?

Of course, The Highway Code is your hub for all things road related. It gives you the knowledge to drive safely. Have you ever wondered what a certain parking sign means? Have you been confused with the rules at an unfamiliar crossing? Have you tried to overtake a horse and rider without knowing quite what to do with your instructor? Traffic signs, speed limits, vehicle checks, sat nav etiquette, and how to drive safely while towing. It is all inside the handy book – and online whenever you are unsure.

Giving you confidence on the road

The code is perfect for every road user for numerous reasons. Confidence and concentration are so integral to safe road use. Drivers and cyclists alike need to obey and understand how their actions can affect other road users. New drivers naturally can be nervous on the road, this is something that The Highway Code can support you on - to become a confident and calm driver through knowledge.

Some of the more quirky Highway Code rules

Did you know that you could receive six points on your licence and a £200 fine for paying for a drive-through with your phone? The beginning of the first edition of The Highway Code outlines care and consideration. This covers splashing pedestrians, too. If you fail to drive without due care or consideration, you may well face three points and a £100 fine. No matter how cute dogs look while poking their head out the window, it actually falls under The Highway Code. It states that all pets should be restrained during any journey or placed in a pet carrier or dog cage.