Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Highway Code - 80th Birthday!

From the DSA:

On 14 April this year, the Highway Code celebrates its 80th anniversary.

When it was introduced in 1931 there were just 2.3 million motor vehicles in Great Britain, yet over 7,000 people were killed in road accidents each year. In 2009, this had fallen to 2,222 killed, despite there being over 30 million vehicles on the road.
Although road safety has come a long way over the years, the spirit of the Highway Code remains the same: the very first edition urged all road users to be careful and considerate towards others, putting safety first.
But of course some aspects of the Code have changed considerably. For example, in 1931 mirrors were not even mentioned and drivers were advised to sound their horn when overtaking.
More than a third of the original 24-page booklet was given to hand signals, compared to the single page covering the subject in the current edition.
The latest edition, published in 2007, was updated to include new legislation on vehicle emissions and smoking in vehicles, and references new initiatives like high- occupancy vehicle lanes, home zones and active traffic management schemes.
The Code is substantially updated every 8-10 years, meaning the next new edition is likely to be published sometime after 2015.

The 1931 edition:•cost one old penny
•was the only one to carry advertisements
•contained 18 pages of advice, compared to 93 pages in the 1999 edition
•included advice to drivers of horse drawn vehicles to 'rotate the whip above the head; then incline the whip to the right or left to show the direction in which the turn is to be made.'

Take the quiz
DSA's official publisher, TSO, has created a short quiz so all road users can see whether they need to brush up on their road knowledge. Take the quiz here: http://tinyurl.com/68u968p



1 comment:

Grant Hughes said...

Your readers might like to know that a facsimile of the original 1931 Highway Code can be downloaded free of charge at http://www.drivingtheorytest.co.uk.