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Drive with Red

Highway Code

Know your code!

The road is a dangerous place, especially for kids and older pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders. The DVSA developed the Official Highway Code to protect them and other vulnerable road users, and to minimise the number of road accidents and casualties.

It is important that all road users are aware of the Code and are considerate towards each other – this applies to both pedestrians and drivers. By correctly applying the rules of the Code, it could significantly reduce road casualties and this is a responsibility we all have to share.

Breaking the rules of the Official Highway Code is a criminal offence, so you will be judged on your familiarity with them during your practical driving test.

Man holding two road cones

Some of the most important rules are:


  • Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medicine
  • Maximum speed limits are not a target. Use common sense to determine what speed is appropriate for the traffic, road and conditions
  • When approaching a pedestrian crossing, road works, traffic lights or control system, you have to be able to stop if necessary
  • Be aware of cyclists and pedestrians around you and anticipate what they might do. Especially tourists and children are likely to step out into the road while looking the other way
  • Don’t try to intimidate other road users by driving too close behind them. If they pull out into your path at a junction, slow down and hold back so that they can get clear
  • Don’t play loud music while driving. This is distracting and may mask important sounds around your car
  • Don’t operate your satnav, sound system, mobile phone or other distracting devices while driving


Before taking your driving theory test, you need to read the full Highway Code online or study ‘The Official DVSA Guide to Driving – the essential skills’, which is available in most bookshops.

Never forget – driving can be fun but it also needs to be taken seriously.  One in five new drivers has a crash within six months of passing their test (source: DVSA).


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