THE HIGHWAY CODE
Alterations to The Highway Code (Introduction and rules 1, 5, 8, 13, 19, 52, 59, 61, 62,
63, 66, 67, 69, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 125, 140, 144, 151, 160, 163,
167, 170, 178, 183, 186, 187, 192, 195, 199, 204, 206, 211, 212, 213, 215, 239, Annex 1 and
Annex 6) proposed to be made by the Secretary of State for Transport and laid before both Houses of Parliament on 01 December 2021 pursuant to section 38 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
Enclosed is a complete copy of The Highway Code. The alterations being proposed to The
Highway Code can be found in the Introduction and at rules 1, 5, 8, 13, 19, 52, 59, 61, 62, 63,
66, 67, 69, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 125, 140, 144, 151, 160, 163, 167, 170, 178, 183, 186, 187, 192, 195, 199, 204, 206, 211, 212, 213, 215, 239, Annex 1 and Annex 6.
The alterations are also set out in the attached table and the reasons for making the proposed alterations to The Highway Code can be found within the accompanying Explanatory Memorandum.
In accordance with section 38(3) of the Road Traffic Act 1988, where the Secretary of State proposes to revise The Highway Code by making any alterations in the provisions of The Highway Code (other than alteration merely consequential on the passing, amendment or repeal of any statutory provision) he must lay the proposed alterations before both Houses of
Parliament and must not make the proposed revision until after the end of a period of forty days beginning with the day on which the alterations were so laid.
Electronic copies of the Government Response to the consultation on a ‘Review of The Highway Code to improve road safety for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders’ can be found online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-the-highway-code-toimprove-road-safety-for-cyclists-pedestrians-and-horse-riders
Please note that due to coronavirus and remote working for the foreseeable future, we cannot provide hard copies of the Government Response, but please let us know if you require an alternative format by contacting the Department for Transport at
HighwayCodeReview2020@dft.gov.uk or in writing, addressed to the Department for Transport, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 4DR.
Amended Text to the Introduction of The Highway Code and rules 1, 5, 8, 13, 19, 52, 59, 61, 62, 63, 66, 67, 69, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 125, 140, 144, 151, 160,
163, 167, 170, 178, 183, 186, 187, 192, 195, 199, 204, 206, 211, 212, 213, 215, 239, Annex 1 and Annex 6
(new, additional or amended text to the Rules has been italicised in bold)
This Highway Code applies to England, Scotland and Wales. The Highway Code is essential reading for everyone.
The aim of The Highway Code is to promote safety on the road, whilst also supporting a healthy, sustainable and efficient transport system.
Many of the rules in the Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules 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 addition, the rule includes an abbreviated reference to the legislation which creates the offence. See an explanation of the abbreviations.
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 (see The road user and the law) to establish liability. This includes rules which use advisory wording such as ‘should/should not’ or ‘do/do not’.
Knowing and applying the rules contained in The Highway Code could significantly reduce road casualties. Cutting the number of deaths and injuries that occur on our roads every day is a responsibility we all share. The Highway Code can help us discharge that responsibility. Further information on driving/riding techniques can be found in ‘The Official DVSA Guide to Driving – the essential skills’ and ‘The Official DVSA Guide to Riding – the essential skills’.
Hierarchy of Road Users
The ‘Hierarchy of Road Users’ is a concept that places those road users most at risk in the event of a collision at the top of the hierarchy. The hierarchy does not remove the need for everyone to behave responsibly. The road users most likely to be injured in the event of a collision are pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and motorcyclists, with children, older adults and disabled people being more at risk. The following H rules clarify this concept.
- Rule H1
It is important that ALL road users are aware of The Highway Code, are considerate to other road users and understand their responsibility for the safety of others.
Everyone suffers when road collisions occur, whether they are physically injured or not. But those in charge of vehicles that can cause the greatest harm in the event of a collision bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger they pose to others. This principle applies most strongly to drivers of large goods and passenger vehicles, vans/minibuses, cars/taxis and motorcycles.
Cyclists, horse riders and drivers of horse drawn vehicles likewise have a responsibility to reduce danger to pedestrians.
None of this detracts from the responsibility of ALL road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders, to have regard for their own and other road users’ safety.
Always remember that the people you encounter may have impaired sight, hearing or mobility and that this may not be obvious.
- Rule H2
Rule for drivers, motorcyclists, horse drawn vehicles, horse riders and cyclists
At a junction you should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which or from which you are turning.
You MUST give way to pedestrians on a zebra crossing, and to pedestrians and cyclists on a parallel crossing (see Rule 195).
Pedestrians have priority when on a zebra crossing, on a parallel crossing or at light controlled crossings when they have a green signal.
You should give way to pedestrians waiting to cross a zebra crossing, and to pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross a parallel crossing.
Horse riders should also give way to pedestrians on a zebra crossing, and to pedestrians and cyclists on a parallel crossing.
Cyclists should give way to pedestrians on shared use cycle tracks and to horse riders on bridleways.
Only pedestrians may use the pavement. Pedestrians include wheelchair and mobility scooter users.
Pedestrians may use any part of the road and use cycle tracks as well as the pavement, unless there are signs prohibiting pedestrians.
- TSRGD Schedule 14 part 1 and part 5 &
- HA 1835 sect 72, R(S)A 1984, sect 129 &
- Countryside Act 1968 Sect 1 part 30
- Rule H3
Rule for drivers and motorcyclists
You should not cut across cyclists, horse riders or horse drawn vehicles going ahead when you are turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane, just as you would not turn across the path of another motor vehicle. This applies whether they are using a cycle lane, a cycle track, or riding ahead on the road and you should give way to them.
Do not turn at a junction if to do so would cause the cyclist, horse rider or horse drawn vehicle going straight ahead to stop or swerve.
You should stop and wait for a safe gap in the flow of cyclists if necessary. This includes when cyclists are:
- approaching, passing or moving off from a junction
- moving past or waiting alongside stationary or slow-moving traffic • travelling around a roundabout
Rules for pedestrians
- Rule 1
Pavements and footways (including any path along the side of a road) should be used if provided. Where possible, avoid being next to the kerb with your back to the traffic. If you have to step into the road, look both ways first. Always remain aware of your environment and avoid unnecessary distractions. Always show due care and consideration for others.
- Rule 5
Organised walks or parades involving large groups of people walking along a road should use a pavement if available; if one is not available, they should keep to the left. Look-outs should be positioned at the front and back of the group, and they should wear fluorescent clothes in daylight and reflective clothes in the dark. At night, the look-out in front should show a white light and the one at the back a red light. People on the outside of large groups should also carry lights and wear reflective clothing.
- Rule 8
At a junction. When you are crossing or waiting to cross the road, other traffic should give way. Look out for traffic turning into the road, especially from behind you, and cross at a place where drivers can see you. If you have started crossing and traffic wants to turn into the road, you have priority and they should give way (see Rules H2 and 170).
- Rule 13
Routes shared with cyclists. Cycle tracks may run alongside footpaths or pavements and be separated from them by a feature such as a change of material, a verge, a kerb or a white line. Such routes may also incorporate short lengths of tactile paving to help visually impaired people stay on the correct side. On the pedestrian side this may comprise a series of flat-topped bars running across the direction of travel (ladder pattern). On the cyclist side the same bars are orientated in the direction of travel (tramline pattern).
Some routes shared with cyclists will not be separated by such a feature allowing cyclists and pedestrians to share the same space. Cyclists should respect your safety (see Rule 62) but you should also take care not to obstruct or endanger them. Always remain aware of your environment and avoid unnecessary distractions.
Where signs indicate, some routes are shared between pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and horse drawn vehicles. Cyclists, horse riders and drivers of horse drawn vehicles should respect your safety, but you should take care not to obstruct or endanger them. Always remain aware of your environment and avoid unnecessary distractions.
- Rule 19
Zebra Crossing. Give traffic plenty of time to see you and to stop before you start to cross. Vehicles will need more time when the road is slippery. Wait until traffic has stopped from both directions or the road is clear before crossing. Remember that traffic does not have to stop until someone has moved onto the crossing. Drivers and riders should give way to pedestrians waiting to cross and MUST give way to pedestrians on a zebra crossing (see Rule H2). Keep looking both ways, and listening, in case a driver or rider has not seen you and attempts to overtake a vehicle that has stopped.
A zebra crossing with a central island is two separate crossings (see Rule 20)
Rules about animals
- Rule 52
Before you take a horse or horse drawn vehicle on to the road you should
• ensure all tack fits well and is in good condition
• make sure you can control your horse
If you are an inexperienced horse rider or have not ridden for a while, consider taking the Ride Safe Award from the British Horse Society. The Ride Safe Award provides a foundation for any horse rider to be safe and knowledgeable when riding in all environments but particularly on the road. For more information, see www.bhs.org.uk
Always ride with other, less nervous horses if you think that your horse will be nervous of traffic. Never ride a horse without a saddle and bridle.
Rules for cyclists
- Rule 59
Clothing. You should avoid clothes which may get tangled in the chain, or in a wheel or may obscure your lights when you are cycling.
Light-coloured or fluorescent clothing can help other road users to see you in daylight and poor light, while reflective clothing and/or accessories (belt, arm or ankle bands) can increase your visibility in the dark.
You should wear a cycle helmet which conforms to current regulations, is the correct size and securely fastened. Evidence suggests that a correctly fitted helmet will reduce your risk of sustaining a head injury in certain circumstances.
- Rule 61
Cycle Routes and Other Facilities. Cycle lanes are marked by a white line (which may be broken) along the carriageway (see Rule 140). Use facilities such as cycle lanes and tracks, advanced stop lines and toucan crossings (see Rules 62 and 73) where they make your journey safer and easier. This will depend on your experience and skills and the situation at the time. While such facilities are provided for reasons of safety, cyclists may exercise their judgement and are not obliged to use them.
- Rule 62
Cycle Tracks. These are routes for cyclists that are physically protected or located away from motor traffic, other than where they cross side roads (see Rule 206). Cycle tracks may run alongside footpaths or pavements and be separated by a feature such as a change of material, a verge, a kerb or a white line. You MUST keep to the side intended for cyclists as the pedestrian side remains a pavement or footpath.
Some cycle tracks shared with pedestrians will not be separated by such a feature. On such shared use routes, you should always take care when passing pedestrians, especially children, older adults or disabled people, and allow them plenty of room. Always be prepared to slow down and stop if necessary (see Rule H2).
- [New] Rule 63
Sharing space with pedestrians, horse riders and horse drawn vehicles. When riding in places where sharing with pedestrians, horse riders or horse drawn vehicles is permitted, take care when passing pedestrians and horse riders, especially children, older adults or disabled people. Slow down when necessary and let them know you are there; for example, by ringing your bell (it is recommended that a bell is fitted to your bike), or by calling out politely.
Remember that pedestrians may be deaf, blind or partially sighted and that this may not be obvious.
Do not pass pedestrians, horse riders or horse drawn vehicles closely or at high speed, particularly from behind. You should not pass a horse on their left. Remember that horses can be startled if passed without warning. Always be prepared to slow down and stop when necessary.
- Rule 66
• avoid any actions that could reduce your control of your cycle
• be considerate of the needs of other road users when riding in groups. You can ride two abreast and it can be safer to do so, particularly in larger groups or when accompanying children or less experienced riders. Be aware of drivers behind you and allow them to overtake (for example, by moving into single file or stopping) when you feel it is safe to let them do so
• not ride close behind another vehicle in case it stops suddenly
• not carry anything which will affect your balance or may get tangled up with your wheels or chain
• be considerate of other road users, particularly blind and partially sighted pedestrians, and horse riders (see Rule H1). Let them know you are there when necessary, for example, by calling out or ringing your bell if you have one. It is recommended that a bell be fitted.
• look all around to make sure it is safe before moving away from the kerb, when pulling out to overtake or to pass stationary vehicles, or when turning at junctions or stopping
• watch out for obstructions in the road, such as drains, service covers and potholes, positioning yourself so you can move to the left (as well as to the right) to avoid them safely
• take care when passing parked vehicles, leaving enough room (a door’s width or 1 metre) to avoid being hit if a car door is opened, and watch out for pedestrians stepping into your path
• be aware of traffic coming up behind you, including other cyclists, and give a clear signal to show other road users what you intend to do (see ‘Signals to other road users’)
• take extra care near road humps, narrowings and other traffic calming features
• when cycling on the road, only pass to the left of large vehicles when they are stationary or slow moving and you should proceed with caution as the driver may not be able to see you. Be particularly careful on the approach to junctions or where a large vehicle could change lanes to the left.
You MUST obey all traffic signs and traffic light signals.
- Rule 71
At traffic light junctions and at cycle-only crossings with traffic lights, you MUST NOT cross the stop line when the lights are red.
Some junctions have an advanced stop line to enable you to position yourself ahead of other traffic and wait (see Rule 178). When the traffic lights are red, you may cross the first stop line, but you MUST NOT cross the final stop line.
Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD Schedule 14 part 1
- [New] Rule 72
Road positioning. When riding on the roads, there are two basic road positions you should adopt, depending on the situation.
1. Ride in the centre of your lane, to make yourself as clearly visible as possible, in the following situations:
• on quiet roads or streets – if a faster vehicle comes up behind you, move to the left to enable them to overtake, if you can do so safely
• in slower-moving traffic – when the traffic around you starts to flow more freely move over to the left if you can do so safely so that faster vehicles behind you can overtake
• at the approach to junctions or road narrowings where it would be unsafe for drivers to overtake you
2. When riding on busy roads, with vehicles moving faster than you, allow them to overtake where it is safe to do so whilst keeping at least 0.5 metres away, and further where it is safer, from the kerb edge. Remember that traffic on most dual carriageways moves quickly. Take extra care crossing slip roads.
- [New] Rule 73
Junctions. Some junctions, particularly those with traffic lights, have special cycle facilities, including small cycle traffic lights at eye-level height, which may allow you to move or cross separately from or ahead of other traffic. Use these facilities where they make your journey safer and easier.
At junctions with no separate cyclist facilities, it is recommended that you proceed as if you were driving a motor vehicle (see Rules 170 to 190). Position yourself in the centre of your chosen lane, where you feel able to do this safely, to make yourself as visible as possible and to avoid being overtaken where this would be dangerous. If you do not feel safe to proceed in this way, you may prefer to dismount and wheel your bike across the junction.
- [Rule 72 becomes] Rule 74
Turning. When approaching a junction on the left, watch out for vehicles turning in front of you, out of or into the side road. If you intend to turn left, check first for other cyclists or motorcyclists before signalling. Do not ride on the inside of vehicles signalling or slowing down to turn left.
If you are turning right, check the traffic to ensure it is safe, then signal and move to the centre of the road. Wait until there is a safe gap in the oncoming traffic and give a final look before completing the turn. It may be safer to wait on the left until there is a safe gap or to dismount and push your cycle across the road.
When turning into or out of a side road, you should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross (see Rule H2).
- [New] Rule 75
Two Stage Turns.
At some signal-controlled junctions there may be signs and markings informing cyclists to turn right in two stages:
Stage 1: When the traffic lights turn green, cyclists wishing to make the turn should go straight ahead to the location marked by a cycle symbol and turn arrow on the carriageway; then stop and wait there
Stage 2: When the traffic lights on the far side of the junction, now facing the cyclists, turn green, they should then complete the manoeuvre
- [New] Rule 76
Going straight ahead. If you are going straight ahead at a junction, you have priority over traffic waiting to turn into or out of the side road, unless road signs or markings indicate otherwise (see Rule H3). Check that you can proceed safely, particularly when approaching junctions on the left alongside stationary or slow-moving traffic. Watch out for drivers intending to turn across your path. Remember the driver ahead may not be able to see you, so bear in mind your speed and position in the road.
Take great care when deciding whether it is safe to pass stationary or slow-moving lorries and other long vehicles, especially at the approach to junctions, as their drivers may not be able to see you. Remember that they may have to move over to the right before turning left, and that their rear wheels may then come very close to the kerb while turning (see Rule 67).
- [Rule 75 becomes] Rule 77
Busy roads. When crossing faster or busy main roads, you may find it safer and easier to
• dismount and push your cycle across
• wait for a safe gap in the traffic before doing so, especially on faster roads and dual carriageways
• make use of traffic islands or central reservations to help you where appropriate.
- [Rule 76 becomes] Rule 78
Full details about the correct procedure at roundabouts without cycle facilities are contained in Rules 184 to 190.
Watch out for vehicles crossing your path to leave or join the roundabout, remembering that drivers may not easily see you.
- [Rule 77 becomes] Rule 79
If you are turning right, you can ride in the left or right-hand lanes and move left when approaching your exit. Position yourself in the centre of your lane if it is safe to do so (see Rule 72) and signal right to indicate that you are not leaving the roundabout. Alternatively, you may feel safer walking your cycle round on the pavement or verge.
If you decide to ride round keeping to the left-hand lane you should
• be aware that drivers may not easily see you
• take extra care when cycling across exits. You should signal right to show you are not leaving the roundabout
• watch out for vehicles crossing your path to leave or join the roundabout.
Where a roundabout has separate cycle facilities, you should use these facilities where they make your journey safer and easier although you are not obliged to use them. This will depend on your experience and skills and the situation at the time.
- [Rule 78 becomes] Rule 80
Give plenty of room to long vehicles on the roundabout as they need more space to manoeuvre. Do not ride in the space they need to get round the roundabout. It may be safer to wait until they have cleared the roundabout.
- [Rule 79 becomes] Rule 81
Do not ride across equestrian crossings, as they are for horse riders only. Do not ride across a pelican, puffin or zebra crossing. Dismount and wheel your cycle across.
- [Rule 80 becomes] Rule 82
Crossings. Toucan crossings are light-controlled crossings which allow cyclists and pedestrians to share crossing space and cross at the same time. They are push-button operated. Pedestrians and cyclists will see the green signal together. Cyclists are permitted to ride across.
Cycle tracks on opposite sides of the road may be linked by cycle-only signalled crossings. You may ride across but you MUST NOT cross until the green cycle symbol is showing.
Cycle track crossings can be in spacious pedestrian environments. Cyclists should look out and be prepared to stop for pedestrians crossing the track informally as well as at these designated points.
Take extra care when crossing level crossings and tramways (see Rule 306). You should dismount at level crossings where a ‘cyclist dismount’ sign is displayed.
General rules, techniques and advice for all drivers and riders
- Rule 125
The speed limit is the absolute maximum and does not mean it is safe to drive at that speed irrespective of conditions. Unsafe speed increases the chances of causing a collision (or being unable to avoid one), as well as its severity. Inappropriate speeds are also intimidating, deterring people from walking, cycling or riding horses. Driving at speeds too fast for the road and traffic conditions is dangerous. You should always reduce your speed when
• the road layout or condition presents hazards, such as bends
• sharing the road with pedestrians, particularly children, older adults or disabled people, cyclists and horse riders, horse drawn vehicles and motorcyclists
• weather conditions make it safer to do so
• driving at night as it is more difficult to see other road users.
Cycle lanes and cycle tracks.
Cycle lanes are shown by road markings and signs. You MUST NOT drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a solid white line during its times of operation. Do not drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a broken white line unless it is unavoidable. You MUST NOT park in any cycle lane whilst waiting restrictions apply.
You should give way to any cyclists in a cycle lane, including when they are approaching from behind you – do not cut across them when you are turning or when you are changing lane (see Rule H3). Be prepared to stop and wait for a safe gap in the flow of cyclists before crossing the cycle lane.
Cycle tracks are routes for cyclists that are physically protected or located away from motor traffic, other than where they cross side roads. Cycle tracks may be shared with pedestrians.
You should give way to cyclists approaching or using the cycle track when you are turning into or out of a junction (see Rule H3). Be prepared to stop and wait for a safe gap in the flow of cyclists before crossing the cycle track, which may be used by cyclists travelling in both directions.
Bear in mind that cyclists are not obliged to use cycle lanes or cycle tracks.
- Rule 144
You MUST NOT
- drive dangerously
- drive without due care and attention
- drive without reasonable consideration for other road users.
Driving requires focus and attention at all times. Remember, you may be driving dangerously or travelling too fast even if you don’t mean to.
Law RTA 1988 sects 2 & 3 as amended by RTA 1991
- Rule 151
In slow-moving traffic. You should
• reduce the distance between you and the vehicle ahead to maintain traffic flow
• never get so close to the vehicle in front that you cannot stop safely
• leave enough space to be able to manoeuvre if the vehicle in front breaks down or an emergency vehicle needs to get past
• not change lanes to the left to overtake
• allow access into and from side roads
• allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross in front of you
• be aware of cyclists and motorcyclists who may be passing on either side.
Using the road
- Rule 160
Once moving you should
• keep to the left, unless road signs or markings indicate otherwise. The exceptions are when you want to overtake, turn right or pass parked vehicles or pedestrians in the road
• keep well to the left on right-hand bends. This will improve your view of the road and help avoid the risk of colliding with traffic approaching from the opposite direction
• drive or ride with both hands on the wheel or handlebars where possible. This will help you to remain in full control of the vehicle at all times. You may use driver assistance systems while you are driving. Make sure you use any system according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
• be aware of other road users, especially cycles and motorcycles who may be filtering through the traffic. These are more difficult to see than larger vehicles and their riders are particularly vulnerable. Give them plenty of room, especially if you are driving a long vehicle or towing a trailer. You should give way to cyclists when you are changing direction or lane – do not cut across them.
• select a lower gear before you reach a long downhill slope. This will help to control your speed
• when towing, remember the extra length will affect overtaking and manoeuvring. The extra weight will also affect the braking and acceleration.
Overtake only when it is safe and legal to do so. You should
• not get too close to the vehicle you intend to overtake
• use your mirrors, signal when it is safe to do so, take a quick sideways glance if necessary into the blind spot area and then start to move out
• not assume that you can simply follow a vehicle ahead which is overtaking; there may only be enough room for one vehicle
• move quickly past the vehicle you are overtaking, once you have started to overtake. Allow plenty of room. Move back to the left as soon as you can but do not cut in
• take extra care at night and in poor visibility when it is harder to judge speed and distance
• give way to oncoming vehicles before passing parked vehicles or other obstructions on your side of the road
• only overtake on the left if the vehicle in front is signalling to turn right, and there is room to do so
• stay in your lane if traffic is moving slowly in queues. If the queue on your right is moving more slowly than you are, you may pass on the left. Cyclists may pass slower moving or stationary traffic on their right or left and should proceed with caution as the driver may not be able to see you. Be careful about doing so, particularly on the approach to junctions, and especially when deciding whether it is safe to pass lorries or other large vehicles.
• give motorcyclists, cyclists, horse riders and horse drawn vehicles at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car (see Rules 211 to 215). As a guide:
− leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists at speeds of up to 30mph, and give them more space when overtaking at higher speeds
− pass horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles at speeds under 10 mph and allow at least 2 metres space
− allow at least 2 metres space and keep to a low speed when passing a pedestrian who is walking in the road (e.g. where there is no pavement)
− take extra care and give more space when overtaking motorcyclists, cyclists, horse riders, horse drawn vehicles and pedestrians in bad weather
(including high winds) and at night
− you should wait behind the motorcyclist, cyclist, horse rider, horse drawn vehicle or pedestrian and not overtake if it is unsafe or not possible to meet these clearances
- Rule 167
DO NOT overtake where you might come into conflict with other road users. For example
• approaching or at a road junction on either side of the road where the road narrows
• when approaching a school crossing patrol
• on the approach to crossing facilities
• where a vehicle ahead is slowing to stop for a pedestrian that is crossing from a pedestrian island (see Rule 165)
• between the kerb and a bus or tram when it is at a stop
• where traffic is queuing at junctions or road works
• when you would force another road user to swerve or slow down
• at a level crossing
• when a road user is indicating right, even if you believe the signal should have been cancelled. Do not take a risk; wait for the signal to be cancelled
• stay behind if you are following a cyclist approaching a roundabout or junction, and you intend to turn left. Do not cut across cyclists going ahead, including those using cycle lanes and cycle tracks (see Rule H3)
• stay behind if you are following a horse rider or horse drawn vehicle approaching a roundabout or junction, and you intend to turn left. Do not cut across a horse rider or horse drawn vehicle going ahead.
• when a tram is standing at a kerbside tram stop and there is no clearly marked passing lane for other traffic
- Rule 170
Take extra care at junctions. You should
• watch out for cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians including powered wheelchairs/mobility scooters users as they are not always easy to see. Be aware that they may not have seen or heard you if you are approaching from behind
• give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which or from which you are turning. If they have started to cross they have priority, so give way (see Rule H2)
• remain behind cyclists, horse riders, horse drawn vehicles and motorcyclists at junctions even if they are waiting to turn and are positioned close to the kerb
• watch out for long vehicles which may be turning at a junction ahead; they may have to use the whole width of the road to make the turn (see Rule 221)
• watch out for horse riders who may take a different line on the road from that which you would expect
• not assume, when waiting at a junction, that a vehicle coming from the right and signalling left will actually turn. Wait and make sure
• look all around before emerging. Do not cross or join a road until there is a gap large enough for you to do so safely.
- Rule 178
Advanced stop lines. Some signal-controlled junctions have advanced stop lines to allow cyclists to be positioned ahead of other traffic. Motorists, including motorcyclists, MUST stop at the first white line reached if the lights are amber or red and should avoid blocking the way or encroaching on the marked area at other times, e.g. if the junction ahead is blocked. If your vehicle has proceeded over the first white line at the time that the signal goes red, you should stop as soon as possible and MUST stop at the second white line. Allow cyclists, including any moving or waiting alongside you, enough time and space to move off when the green signal shows.
Drivers of large vehicles should stop sufficiently far behind the first white line so that they can see the whole area where cyclists may be waiting, allowing for any blind spot in front of the vehicle.
- Rule 183
• keep as close to the left as is safe and practicable
• give way to any vehicles using a bus lane, cycle lane, cycle track or tramway from either direction, including when they are passing slow moving or stationary vehicles on either side.
- Rule 186
Signals and position. When taking the first exit to the left, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise
• signal left and approach in the left-hand lane
• keep to the left on the roundabout and continue signalling left to leave.
• When taking an exit to the right or going full circle, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise
• signal right and approach in the right-hand lane
• keep to the right on the roundabout until you need to change lanes to exit the roundabout
• signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you want.
• When taking any intermediate exit, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise
• select the appropriate lane on approach to the roundabout
• you should not normally need to signal on approach
• stay in this lane until you need to alter course to exit the roundabout signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you want.
When there are more than three lanes at the entrance to a roundabout, use the most appropriate lane on approach and through it.
You should give priority to cyclists on the roundabout. They will be travelling more slowly than motorised traffic. Give them plenty of room and do not attempt to overtake them within their lane. Allow them to move across your path as they travel around the roundabout.
Cyclists, horse riders and horse drawn vehicles may stay in the left-hand lane when they intend to continue across or around the roundabout and should signal right to show you they are not leaving the roundabout. Drivers should take extra care when entering a roundabout to ensure that they do not cut across cyclists, horse riders or horse drawn vehicles in the left-hand lane, who are continuing around the roundabout.
- Rule 187
In all cases watch out for and give plenty of room to
• pedestrians who may be crossing the approach and exit roads
• traffic crossing in front of you on the roundabout, especially vehicles intending to leave by the next exit
• traffic which may be straddling lanes or positioned incorrectly
• long vehicles (including those towing trailers). These might have to take a different course or straddle lanes either approaching or on the roundabout because of their length. Watch out for their signals
- Rule 192
In slow-moving and queuing traffic you should keep crossings completely clear, as blocking these makes it difficult and dangerous for pedestrians to cross. You should not enter a pedestrian crossing if you are unable to completely clear the crossing. Nor should you block advanced stop lines for cycles.
- Rule 195
Zebra and parallel crossings. As you approach a zebra crossing
• look out for pedestrians waiting to cross and be ready to slow down or stop
• you should give way to pedestrians waiting to cross
• you MUST give way when a pedestrian has moved onto a crossing
• allow more time for stopping on wet or icy roads
• do not wave, flash your lights or use your horn to invite pedestrians across; this could be dangerous if another vehicle is approaching be patient, do not sound your horn or rev your engine as this can be intimidating
• be aware of pedestrians approaching from the side of the crossing.
A zebra crossing with a central island is two separate crossings (see ‘Crossings’).
Parallel crossings are similar to zebra crossings, but include a cycle route alongside the black and white stripes.
As you approach a parallel crossing
• look out for pedestrians or cyclists waiting to cross and slow down or stop
• you should give way to pedestrians or cyclists waiting to cross
• you MUST give way when a pedestrian or cyclist has moved onto a crossing
• allow more time for stopping on wet or icy roads
• do not wave, flash your lights or use your horn to invite pedestrians or cyclists across; this could be dangerous if another vehicle is approaching
• be patient, do not sound your horn or rev your engine as this can be intimidating
• be aware of pedestrians or cyclists approaching from the side of the crossing.
A parallel crossing with a central island is two separate crossings (see Rules 19 and 20).
- Rule 199
Toucan, puffin and equestrian crossings. These are similar to pelican crossings, but there is no flashing amber phase; the light sequence for traffic at these three crossings is the same as at traffic lights. If the signal-controlled crossing is not working, proceed with extreme caution. Do not enter the crossing if you are unable to completely clear it, to avoid obstructing pedestrians, cyclists or horse riders.
Road users requiring extra care
- Rule 204
The road users most at risk from road traffic are pedestrians, in particular children, older adults and disabled people, cyclists, horse riders and motorcyclists. It is particularly important to be aware of children, older adults and disabled people, and learner and inexperienced drivers and riders. In any interaction between road users, those who can cause the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they pose to others.
- Rule 206
Drive carefully and slowly when
• in crowded shopping streets, Home Zones and Quiet Lanes (see Rule 218) or residential areas
• driving past bus and tram stops; pedestrians may emerge suddenly into the road
• passing parked vehicles, especially ice cream vans; children are more interested in ice cream than traffic and may run into the road unexpectedly
• needing to cross a pavement, cycle lane or cycle track; for example, to reach or leave a driveway or private access. Give way to pedestrians on the pavement and cyclists using a cycle lane or cycle track
• reversing into a side road; look all around the vehicle and give way to any pedestrians who may be crossing the road
• turning at road junctions; you should give way to pedestrians who are crossing or waiting to cross the road into which or from which you are turning
• going through road works or when passing roadside rescue and recovery vehicles, as there may be people working in or at the side of the road
• the pavement is closed due to street repairs and pedestrians are directed to use the road
• approaching pedestrians on narrow rural roads without a footway or footpath. Always slow down and be prepared to stop if necessary, giving them plenty of room as you drive past
• approaching zebra and parallel crossings as you MUST give way to pedestrians and cyclists on the crossing (see Rule 195)
• approaching pedestrians who have started to cross the road ahead of you. They have priority so you should give way (see Rule H2).
- Rule 211
It is often difficult to see motorcyclists and cyclists, especially when they are waiting alongside you, coming up from behind, coming out of or moving off from junctions, at roundabouts, overtaking you or filtering through traffic. Always look out for them before you emerge from a junction; they could be approaching faster than you think.
Do not turn at a junction if to do so would cause the cyclist going straight ahead to stop or swerve, just as you would do with a motor vehicle.
When turning right across a line of slow-moving or stationary traffic, look out for and give way to cyclists or motorcyclists on the inside of the traffic you are crossing. Be especially careful when moving off, turning, and when changing direction or lane. Be sure to check mirrors and blind spots carefully.
- Rule 212
Give motorcyclists, cyclists, horse riders, horse drawn vehicles and pedestrians walking in the road (for example, where there is no pavement), at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car (see Rules 162 to 167). Drivers should take extra care and give more space when overtaking motorcyclists, cyclists, horse riders, horse drawn vehicles and pedestrians in bad weather (including high winds) and at night. If the rider looks over their shoulder it could mean that they intend to pull out, turn right or change direction. Give them time and space to do so.
- Rule 213
On narrow sections of road, on quiet roads or streets, at road junctions and in slowermoving traffic, cyclists may sometimes ride in the centre of the lane, rather than towards the side of the road. It can be safer for groups of cyclists to ride two abreast in these situations. Allow them to do so for their own safety, to ensure they can see and be seen. Cyclists are also advised to ride at least a door’s width or 1 metre from parked cars for their own safety.
On narrow sections of road, horse riders may ride in the centre of the lane. Allow them to do so for their own safety to ensure they can see and be seen.
Motorcyclists, cyclists, horse riders and horse drawn vehicles may suddenly need to avoid uneven road surfaces and obstacles such as drain covers or oily, wet or icy patches on the road. Give them plenty of room and pay particular attention to any sudden change of direction they may have to make.
- Rule 215
Horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles. Be particularly careful of horse riders and horsedrawn vehicles especially when approaching, overtaking, passing or moving away. Always pass wide and slowly. When you see a horse on a road, you should slow down to a maximum of 10 mph. Be patient, do not sound your horn or rev your engine. When safe to do so, pass wide and slow, allowing at least 2 metres of space.
Feral or semi feral ponies found in areas such as the New Forest, Exmoor and Dartmoor require the same consideration as ridden horses when approaching or passing.
Horse riders are often children, so take extra care and remember riders may ride in double file when escorting a young or inexperienced horse or rider. Look out for horse riders’ and horse drivers’ signals and heed a request to slow down or stop. Take great care and treat all horses as a potential hazard; they can be unpredictable despite the efforts of their rider/driver. Remember there are three brains at work when you pass a horse; the rider’s, the driver’s and the horse’s. Don’t forget horses are flight animals and can move incredibly quickly if startled.
- Rule 239
Use off-street parking areas, or bays marked out with white lines on the road as parking places, wherever possible. If you have to stop on the roadside:
• do not park facing against the traffic flow
• stop as close as you can to the side
• do not stop too close to a vehicle displaying a Blue Badge: remember, the occupant may need more room to get in or out
• you MUST switch off the engine, headlights and fog lights
• you MUST apply the handbrake before leaving the vehicle
• you MUST ensure you do not hit anyone when you open your door. Check for cyclists or other traffic by looking all around and using your mirrors
• where you are able to do so, you should open the door using your hand on the opposite side to the door you are opening; for example, use your left hand to open a door on your right-hand side. This will make you turn your head to look over your shoulder. You are then more likely to avoid causing injury to cyclists or motorcyclists passing you on the road, or to people on the pavement
• it is safer for your passengers (especially children) to get out of the vehicle on the side next to the kerb
• put all valuables out of sight and make sure your vehicle is secure
• lock your vehicle.
Before using a hand-held device to help you to park, you MUST make sure it is safe to do so. Then, you should move the vehicle into the parking space in the safest way, and by the shortest route possible.
When you use a hand-held device to help you to park, you MUST remain in control of the vehicle at all times. Do not use the hand-held device for anything else while you are using it to help you park, and do not put anyone in danger. Use the hand-held device according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
When using an electric vehicle charge point, you should park close to the charge point and avoid creating a trip hazard for pedestrians from trailing cables. Display a warning sign if you can. After using the charge point, you should return charging cables and connectors neatly to minimise the danger to pedestrians and avoid creating an obstacle for other road users.
Annex 1. You and your bicycle
Make sure that you feel confident of your ability to ride safely on the road. Be sure that
• you have the right size and type of cycle for your comfort and safety
• the lights and reflectors are clean and in good working order
• the tyres are in good condition and inflated to the pressure shown on the tyre
• the wheels spin freely
• the gears are working correctly
• the chain is properly adjusted and oiled
• the saddle and handlebars are adjusted to the correct height.
You should fit a bell to your cycle.
• ensure your brakes are efficient
• have white front and red rear lights lit when cycling at night.
If you are an inexperienced cyclist or have not ridden for a while, consider taking a cycle training course. Some councils offer national standard cycle training such as Bikeability and in certain areas this is free of charge. It can help build up your skills and confidence.
There are three levels to Bikeability, starting with the basics of balancing, stopping and starting safely, through to handling complex and busy junctions. You will also learn about traffic signs and the rules of the road, planning routes, safe road positioning and signalling (particularly at junctions) and basic cycle maintenance. For more information, see www.bikeability.org.uk,www.cycling.scot/bikeability-scotland, www.bikeabilitywales.org.uk/
Annex 6. Vehicle maintenance, safety and security
Take special care that lights, brakes, steering, exhaust system, seat belts, demisters, wipers, washers and any audible warning systems are all working. Also
• lights, indicators, reflectors, and number plates MUST be kept clean and clear • windscreens and windows MUST be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision
• lights MUST be properly adjusted to prevent dazzling other road users.
• Extra attention needs to be paid to this if the vehicle is heavily loaded
• exhaust emissions MUST NOT exceed prescribed levels
• ensure your seat, seat belt, head restraint and mirrors are adjusted correctly before you drive
• ensure that items of luggage are securely stowed.
Make sure that you understand the meaning of all warning displays on the vehicle instrument panel. Do not ignore warning signs, they could indicate a dangerous fault developing.
• When you turn the ignition key, warning lights will be illuminated but will go out when the engine starts (except the handbrake warning light). If they do not, or if they come on while you are driving, stop and investigate the problem, as you could have a serious fault.
• If the charge warning light comes on while you are driving, it may mean that the battery isn’t charging. This should also be checked as soon as possible to avoid loss of power to lights and other electrical systems.
You MUST NOT use a vehicle with excessively dark tinting applied to the windscreen, or to the glass in any front window to either side of the driver. Window tinting applied during manufacture complies with the Visual Light Transmittance (VLT) standards. There are no VLT limits for rear windscreens or rear passenger windows.
Tyres MUST be correctly inflated to the vehicle manufacturer’s specification for the load being carried. Always refer to the vehicle’s handbook or data. Tyres should also be free from certain cuts and other defects.
Cars, light vans and light trailers MUST have a tread depth of at least 1.6 mm across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tread and around the entire circumference.
Motorcycles, large vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles MUST have a tread depth of at least 1 mm across three-quarters of the breadth of the tread and in a continuous band around the entire circumference.
Mopeds should have visible tread.
Be aware that some vehicle defects can attract penalty points.
If a tyre bursts while you are driving, try to keep control of your vehicle. Grip the steering wheel firmly and allow the vehicle to roll to a stop at the side of the road.
If you have a flat tyre, stop as soon as it is safe to do so. Only change the tyre if you can do so without putting yourself or others at risk – otherwise call a breakdown service.
Check weekly. Do this before your journey, when tyres are cold. Warm or hot tyres may give a misleading reading.
Your brakes and steering will be adversely affected by under-inflated or over-inflated tyres. Excessive or uneven tyre wear may be caused by faults in the braking or suspension systems, or wheels which are out of alignment. Have these faults corrected as soon as possible.
Check the fluid levels in your vehicle at least weekly. Low brake fluid may result in brake failure and a crash. Make sure you recognise the low fluid warning lights if your vehicle has them fitted.
Before winter. Ensure that the battery is well maintained and that there are appropriate antifreeze agents in your radiator and windscreen bottle.
Other problems. If your vehicle
• pulls to one side when braking, it is most likely to be a brake fault or incorrectly inflated tyres. Consult a garage or mechanic immediately
• continues to bounce after pushing down on the front or rear, its shock absorbers are worn. Worn shock absorbers can seriously affect the operation of a vehicle and should be replaced
• smells of anything unusual such as burning rubber, petrol or an electrical fault; investigate immediately. Do not risk a fire.
Overheated engines or fire. Most engines are water-cooled. If your engine overheats you should wait until it has cooled naturally. Only then remove the coolant filler cap and add water or other coolant.
If your vehicle catches fire, get the occupants out of the vehicle quickly and to a safe place. Do not attempt to extinguish a fire in the engine compartment, as opening the bonnet will make the fire flare. Call the fire brigade.
Petrol stations/fuel tank/fuel leaks. Ensure that, when filling up your vehicle’s tank or any fuel cans you are carrying, you do not spill fuel on the forecourt. Any spilled fuel should be immediately reported to the petrol station attendant. Diesel spillage is dangerous to other road users, particularly motorcyclists, as it will significantly reduce the level of grip between the tyres and road surface. Double-check for fuel leaks and make sure that
• you do not overfill your fuel tank
• the fuel cap is fastened securely
• the seal in the cap is not torn, perished or missing
• there is no visual damage to the cap or the fuel tank
Emergency fuel caps, if fitted, should form a good seal.
Never smoke, or use a mobile phone, on the forecourt of petrol stations as these are major fire risks and could cause an explosion.
Undertake all aspects of the daily walkaround checks for commercial vehicles as recommended by the DVSA and the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/van-drivers-daily-walkaround-check/vandrivers-daily-walkaround-check