What kind of chemistry do you have with your car? Love it? Loathe it? Let us know and you could win a £300 John Lewis voucher | No thanks

Top 10: Rules of the Highway Code you probably didn't know

The Highway Code is something most drivers won't have looked at since they passed their driving test. It's essential reading for everyone - motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, horse riders and all other road users. And with more than 300 rules, many of which are legal requirements, it pays to know the ins and outs to make sure you stay safe.

Here are 10 of the more unusual ones you may not know.

Read more


Solid white lines mean no passing - not just 'no overtaking'

A double white line, where the line nearest you is solid, means you MUST NOT cross or straddle it (unless you're entering or leaving from a side road).

Rule 129 states that you can only cross the line, provided the road is clear, to pass a stationary vehicle or overtake a bicycle, horse or road maintenance vehicle if they are travelling at less than 10mph. So if you're sat behind a tractor doing 15mph, overtaking it would mean you're technically breaking the law.


gerardus Kohlinger    on 25 June 2018

All of them were rather obvious, but someone should tell the bus drivers as the third lane is a safe option for them. Just as suddenly changing lane without an indication.

BikerGSA    on 25 June 2018

You omitted to mention that HGVs over 3.5 tonnes are speed limiter restricted to 90kph/56mph to comply with EU ruling.

DrTeeth    on 25 June 2018

These are all basic and well-known rules.

Talking about mini-roundabouts. There is a particularly dangerous one at the entrance to Barnet Hospital. The centre of the roundabout is such that it takes a vehicle going straight waaay over to the left so most think one is turning left. They go straight over the roundabout and then get annoyed with me because I drove according to the law. This place needs either a camera or a permanent PC

   on 25 June 2018

Just for accuracy the Highway Code is not law. It is there for advice but could be used in evidence in a court case. The law is found elsewhere in Acts of Parliament and regulations made under Acts of Parliament. I had a go at someone the other day about blocking the foot path with his car. His answer was, 'you show me in the Highway Code where it says you can't park on the footpath' so I told him that the Highway Code is not law. Didn't make any difference anyway. The car is still on the path.

Dennis Davis    on 25 June 2018

If I’m driving on the correct side of the road overtaking stationary vehicles and a person from stationary vehicle opens the car door into the path of my vehicle, who is responsible for the damage?

Bob.    on 25 June 2018

from memory..."it is an offfence to open a vehicle door so as to cause injury to passing persons or animals(horses etc)or damage to passing vehicles"....or something along those lines.

gazzag    on 25 June 2018

Well you should have looked out to make sure nothing was overtaking you at the time. The gereral rule is that the overtaking car should pass with a doors lenth, but the situation might not allow them to do that safely, so you should always beware. My mate opened his door in a petrol station and a car passing took off his door. I thought it would have been his fault for not looking but the older gent admited liability and his insurance paid out. I would have argued for at least 50/50.

Royston Mead    on 25 June 2018

Sorry number 9 is incorrect The A9 from Perth to Inverness has a speed limit for HGV's of 50mph

HJ Editor    on 26 June 2018

Thanks for letting us know. We've added that now,

Scottish Bob    on 25 June 2018

When will Highway Code & the law make middle lane hogging an offence? It is dangerous to other road users especially at motorway slip roads

gazzag    on 25 June 2018

It is already but the police just ignore it. I was driving down an empty M74 last month and seen loads of middle lane drivers that could easily have moved in to the empty inside lane. The other probem is that as I do 70 and move closer to undertaking them, I have to move 2 lanes to overtake them. Do I speed up to make it quick as to not having two cars hog both middle and outside lanes or keep at 70 and take ages to over take.

Edited by gazzag on 25/06/2018 at 18:14

aethelwulf    on 25 June 2018

The fact is that the jungle rules. The police are filling in forms about racial discrimination and motorists fight it out on the roads the best they can.
Most f teh HC is sensible-apart from mini roundabouts. A nasty cheap way of breaking up traffic flow. If you want to break traffic flow put in a GIVE WAY sign and the appropriate lines.
Mini roundabouts - or a spot of paint in teh road annoy me. The US is far superior in this regard.The first car to arrive at a junction has precedence.They keep to this and it works fine. What is wrong with the UK that they cannot follow simple rules?

Andrew Greening    on 26 June 2018

Knew all of the rules except for Scotland retaining 40 MPH for HGV's, however driving a HGV1 recently I was overtaken by a Bus in Lane 3 on the M40 which is not uncommon as they have strict time limits and being behind an Artic at 56MPH is obviously an encombance.

The number of cars dragging trailers out in Lane 3 of a motorway is on the increase and I find that I itch to pull over just that little bit into lane 3 and crush these ignorant jerks ( I could use more prosaic language ) into the central crash barrier.

m****s who try and join from slip roads when travelling at the same speed as me in a HGV expecting ME to slow or move over whyen THEY should be accelerating to get in front as I am on the limiter OR God Forgive !! actually consider braking and coming in behind me which would be safer.

The number of cretins in cars who think nothing of undertaking me to get ahead in a HGV before pulling out into the same lane AND then accelerating away as well as those stupid berks who come past me and then pull back in braking as they do so when I am rolling forward causing me to have to brake to compensate for their inept stupidity.

I could go on for ages but enough to say that the vast majority of Motorists out there THINK they are marvellous but sadly they are well below average and should be glad that guns are not allowed in the UK because the barrels in my machine guns would be red hot in a few minutes to rid this country of cretins in cars on the roads.

   on 26 June 2018

Further to point 3 about parking at night. What annoys me are drivers who pull up on the wrong side at night and leave their headlights on, thus dazzling everyone coming down the road. When I learned to drive (over 50 years ago) this was an offence, though not sure if it was against the law or the Highway Code.

DrTeeth    on 21 July 2018

There is a mini roundabout near me that is VERY dangerous. It is outside Barnet General Hospital. The reason it is so dangerous is that the centre is large and it is way off to the left, such that if one is going straight ahead, one has to so a big turn to the left - so much so it looks as if you are turning left. The number of people who think I am turning left and drive right over the the roundabout and nearly cause an accident.

Edited by DrTeeth on 21/07/2018 at 15:37

Simon Wadeson    on 2 August 2018

Number 1 "means you must not cross or straddle it..." What about motorbikes in this situation? Does this mean a motorbike could actually overtake a car, provided of course the lane in which it's driving is wide enough to overtake safely and not exceed the speed limit.

   on 13 August 2018

Where the Highway code it states "you must not"it is in fact law,where it states" do not "is common sense.

   on 26 February 2019

Re number 8 the speed limit on the Aston Expressway is 50 mph not 60mph.

Add a comment


Ask Honest John

Value my car