Highways England has drafted updated guidance for The Highway Code with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to help road users better understand how motorways and high-speed roads operate.
More than 3,200 people and organisations responded to a consultation on the guidance, with their comments directly leading to it being amended and improved. The amendments are expected to become part of The Highway Code later this year.
Among the updates to The Highway Code are clearer advice on how and where to stop in an emergency, including the importance of not driving in a lane that has been closed with a Red X sign displayed and, for the first time, emergency area signage. It includes the “Go left” messaging used in Highways England’s recent £5m advertising campaign to help people know what to do in the event of a breakdown.
There is new guidance on the use of variable speed limits to manage congestion and information on how safety cameras are used to ensure compliance with speed limits and lanes closed with a Red X, including the hard shoulder.
The update will also include:the importance of not driving in a lane closed by a Red X as well as updated guidance on key factors that contribute to safety-related incidents, including driving while tired, unroadworthy vehicles, safe towing, tailgating and driving in roadworks
Jeremy Phillips, Highways England’s Head of Road Safety, said: “The updates to The Highway Code will help everyone who uses our busiest roads. Thanks to the input from road users, we have been able to produce clearer guidance on how to use our motorways and major A-roads which will make journeys even safer.
“The new edition of The Highway Code can give everyone on our roads the confidence that they have the knowledge and skills to safely get from A to B.”
The improved guidance also addresses key factors that contribute to safety-related incidents, including driving while tired, unroadworthy vehicles, safe towing, tailgating and driving through roadworks.
In total, 33 existing rules will be amended and two new rules will be introduced. There will also be a number of amendments made to the additional information within The Highway Code and its annexes.
Highways England has provided the amendments to The Highway Code as part of its commitment to provide clearer information for road users to further improve safety across England’s major routes.
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.