Updating The Highway Code
We’ve introduced improvements to The Highway Code so drivers can more easily find information on how to drive on high-speed roads, including smart motorways.
The update includes:
- clearer advice on where to stop in an emergency
- the importance of not driving in a lane closed by a Red X
- the use of variable speed limits to manage congestion
- updated guidance on key factors that contribute to safety-related incidents, including driving while tired, unroadworthy vehicles, safe towing, tailgating and driving in roadworks
In total, 33 existing rules are being amended and two new rules introduced. There are also a number of amendments made to the additional information within The Highway Code and its annexes.
How did we go about it?
The update is one of the measures set out in the Transport Secretary’s 18-point Action Plan to improve safety and public confidence on All Lane Running motorways. The Highway Code is published by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and this is the first update to be drafted by National Highways.
In October 2020 we shared our proposals with 37 stakeholder organisations in a pre-consultation exercise. We then held a public consultation in March 2021, when more than 3,200 people and organisations responded on the draft guidance, with their comments directly leading to it being amended and improved.
The draft rules were laid in parliament in June 2021 and came into effect on 14 September 2021, six months ahead of the original commitment of March 2022.
Find out more
The new rules are now live on The Highway Code pages on GOV.UK. They will also be included in the next print edition of The Highway Code early next year.
It is vital that all road users are aware of The Highway Code, are considerate to other road users and understand their responsibility for their own safety and that of others.
It’s easy to keep up to date with the Highway Code, and any other future changes, online.
GOV.UK includes a list of the latest Highway Code updates that have been made, so it’s quick and easy to see what has changed. You can also sign up for email alerts whenever the Highway Code is updated.
The Highway Code on GOV.UK allows you to:
- search for key words and phrases within The Highway Code
- quickly move between related rules
- follow links to the original laws that the rules are based on
- print sections more easily
There’s also an official Highway Code app.
DVSA also post on social media about the most recent changes to the code.