Is the Highway Code now irrelevant? - Rob the Bus {P}
Reading several of the threads that have appeared lately (thinking particularly of the "Rant:cyclists" one), it seems to me that there is very little point in having a Highway Code these days as nobody seems to take a blind bit of notice of it.

I realise that learner drivers have to have a benchmark to learn by, and I also appreciate that the Highway Code can be quoted in courts to prove blame or secure a conviction. But most of what is contained in the Code is these days blithely ignored. And I'm not just referring to that bit about letting buses out of bus stops ;-).

I'd be interested to know when any of us here actually (and truthfully!) picked up a copy of the Highway Code, except for helping friends or relatives with their theory tests. It's an awfully long time ago in my case.

To my (probably addled) mind, the Code is no more relevant to today's motoring - despite the updates - than the Policecraft manual of the 70s.

Thing is, what do we have instead? Over to you...


Is the Highway Code now irrelevant? - Garethj
I last read it 2 months ago but it was only because I had to take another test. I passed my driving test 'only' 15 years ago but it's amazing how much I'd forgotten. Looking on the bright side, it means a lot more with some road experience behind me.

Go on, quiz me on stopping distances!

Part of the theory test now has 'Hazard Awareness' which seems to be a useful skill, I don't know if there's a reference for what to look for or how to be a good observer and act on it though?

Is the Highway Code now irrelevant? - frostbite
I would not be surprised to learn it has been 'updated' to versions in Swahili, large print & braille, but other than that.......
Is the Highway Code now irrelevant? - David Horn
Actually, the Highway Code is available in large print, I'm sure it is. Not sure about Braille though but it wouldn't surprise me...

The Hazard Perception part is useful in my opinion, but the test is just too easy. Anyone can pass it (Apart from Big Brother Jade) and that's why so many young idiots are on the road. How about a brief chat with a psychriatrist before a test?
Is the Highway Code now irrelevant? - commerdriver
While I havent picked up a paper copy for a while it is available on the web - quite useful just to check on things
Is the Highway Code now irrelevant? - Flat in Fifth
Thing is, what do we have instead? Over to you...

Thing is Rob we don't have anything. Lots of new legislation and there is no good way to get this information out to the public. Internet access is a good way but not for everyone. Anyone got an idea on % of population who can / do surf?

Highway code last revised in 2001, so I must renew my 1999 version which was looked at a few weeks ago, trying to figure out the differences, from a driver's perspective, between pelican, puffin and toucan crossings.

A relative who is a retired senior traffic plod suddenly found out a few years into retirement that when he wanted to check up on a bit of legislation as a favour for someone that actually if you are no longer in the job it's not all that easy. At the minimum it demands a trip to the library or maybe a good bookshop and have a thumb through Butterworths Police Law or similar.

So how does Joe Public get on despite ignorance being no defence? Basically they don't.

Of course there are some who would still ignore the law, even if updating knowledge was made a piece of cake, but that's probably better reserved for the cyclist rant thread. (BTW I'm firmly in the same corner as you on that one!)

all the best,

Is the Highway Code now irrelevant? - googolplex
Last picked one up in 1983 and I'm not proud of it. I agree with RTB that much of it is ignored. Like most rules, they are open to interpretation and the majority of the public, rule enforcers included, come to some sort of operational version of it which suits their style of driving.
I don't think however that enforced study of the code will greatly change driving habits.
Is the Highway Code now irrelevant? - Clanger
Anorak alert!

Last picked a copy up a couple of days ago to check which rule the blessed horse riders were flaunting in my "horse sense" thread.

The HC is a guide to good manners and standardised behaviour on the road and much of it is relevant as long as there are independently-controlled cars on the road.

The stuff about signalling, speeding and driving within your stopping distance (to paraphrase) is relevant. Just because most of the motoring poulation (apparently) have neither the good sense nor the good manners to follow the rules doen't make it irrelevant.

Retests every 3 years, anyone?

Stranger in a strange land
Is the Highway Code now irrelevant? - Roger Jones
What about giving the Highway Code to motorists with the new Road Fund licence disc every year? Some might even read it. I can anticipate the reaction of many: "Good heavens -- I haven't read that since I passed my test 25 years ago!" That leaves the cyclists and horse riders out, but at least no motorist would have an excuse for ignoring it. It retails at a mere £1.50 or so, so the loss of government revenue would not be that great and there could be a significant unquantifiable benefit in terms of the education of road users.

I like this idea so much that I am inclined to write to my MP and the Driving Standards Agency to suggest it. But I will hold back until the wisdom of this board has been applied to it.
Is the Highway Code now irrelevant? - Cliff Pope
You can't be serious about the large-print version? I thought that was thrown in as a joke - how does someone who needs large print books read a numberplate at 25 yards?
Is the Highway Code now irrelevant? - frostbite
You can't be serious about the large-print version? I thought that
was thrown in as a joke

That was my impression when I wrote it!
Is the Highway Code now irrelevant? - Rob the Bus {P}

It'd certainly be more useful if the DVLA included a copy of the HC with your road tax reminder than all those daft leaflets that no-one ever reads!

Thing is, the section of the motoring public that are most in need of brushing up on their HC are the very section that are least likely to bother with such trifling things as road tax!




Value my car