Highway Code

The Highway Code is a manual of mandatory rules that must be adhered to by all road users in the UK.

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A common misconception is that only drivers of vehicles must understand the rules in The Highway Code. This is not the case; it is important for all road users to know and understand these rules. These road users include:

  • Drivers
  • Motorcyclists
  • Pedestrians
  • Cyclists
  • Children
  • Horse riders
  • Users of powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters

The Highway Code includes hundreds of rules, many of which are legal requirements. Violating these rules is a criminal offence which may lead to a fine, penalty points, disqualification from driving or being sent to prison in the most serious cases.

As a learner driver, knowledge and understanding of the Highway Code is essential. The questions that make up the driving theory test are derived from the Code so it is vital you revisit it regularly during your learning. We have set up this resource to aid your learning. You may browse the Highway Code rules below or use the search facility to find specific rules pertaining to a particular topic. For example, if you’re looking for information about “box junctions”, type in this term in the search box and hit enter. The rule containing information about this topic will appear (Rule 174). You may also save certain rules that you want to revisit at a later stage. By signing up for an account, you can access these saved rules in your dashboard.

If it has been a while since you took your test, you may not have looked at The Highway Code for a number of years. Just as driving or riding skills evolve and develop with time and experience, the rules and advice given in the Highway Code also change and evolve over time, for any number of reasons. Knowing and applying all the rules could help significantly reduce the number of road casualties. This is a responsibility we all share.

Ultimately, it is up to you to acquire and retain the knowledge contained in The Highway Code, regardless of whether you are a pedestrian or the user of any type of vehicle. It is your responsibility to ensure you keep up to date with the rules in The Highway Code – ignorance is no defence.

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307 Highway Code Rules

Highway Code Rule 61

Cycle Routes and Other Facilities. Use cycle routes, advanced stop lines, cycle boxes and toucan crossings unless at the time it is unsafe to do so. Use of these facilities is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer.

Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Overview (rules 59 to 71)

Highway Code Rule 62

Cycle Tracks. These are normally located away from the road, but may occasionally be found alongside footpaths or pavements. Cyclists and pedestrians may be segregated or they may share the same space (unsegregated). When using segregated tracks you MUST keep to the side intended for cyclists as the pedestrian side remains a pavement or footpath. Take care when passing pedestrians, especially children, older or disabled people, and allow them plenty of room. Always be prepared to slow down and stop if necessary. Take care near road junctions as you may have difficulty seeing other road users, who might not notice you.

Law

Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Overview (rules 59 to 71)

Highway Code Rule 63

Cycle Lanes. These are marked by a white line (which may be broken) along the carriageway (see Rule 140). When using a cycle lane, keep within the lane when practicable. When leaving a cycle lane check before pulling out that it is safe to do so and signal your intention clearly to other road users. Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer.

Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Overview (rules 59 to 71)

Highway Code Rule 65

Bus Lanes. Most bus lanes may be used by cyclists as indicated on signs. Watch out for people getting on or off a bus. Be very careful when overtaking a bus or leaving a bus lane as you will be entering a busier traffic flow. Do not pass between the kerb and a bus when it is at a stop.

Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Overview (rules 59 to 71)

Highway Code Rule 66

You should

  • keep both hands on the handlebars except when signalling or changing gear
  • keep both feet on the pedals
  • never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends
  • not ride close behind another vehicle
  • not carry anything which will affect your balance or may get tangled up with your wheels or chain
  • be considerate of other road users, particularly blind and partially sighted pedestrians. Let them know you are there when necessary, for example, by ringing your bell if you have one. It is recommended that a bell be fitted.
Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Overview (rules 59 to 71)

Highway Code Rule 67

You should

  • look all around before moving away from the kerb, turning or manoeuvring, to make sure it is safe to do so. Give a clear signal to show other road users what you intend to do (see ‘Signals to other road users‘)
  • look well ahead for obstructions in the road, such as drains, pot-holes and parked vehicles so that you do not have to swerve suddenly to avoid them. Leave plenty of room when passing parked vehicles and watch out for doors being opened or pedestrians stepping into your path
  • be aware of traffic coming up behind you
  • take extra care near road humps, narrowings and other traffic calming features
  • take care when overtaking (see Rules 162 to 169).
Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Overview (rules 59 to 71)

Highway Code Rule 68

You MUST NOT

  • carry a passenger unless your cycle has been built or adapted to carry one
  • hold onto a moving vehicle or trailer
  • ride in a dangerous, careless or inconsiderate manner
  • ride when under the influence of drink or drugs, including medicine.

Law

Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Overview (rules 59 to 71)

Highway Code Rule 70

When parking your cycle

  • find a conspicuous location where it can be seen by passers-by
  • use cycle stands or other cycle parking facilities wherever possible
  • do not leave it where it would cause an obstruction or hazard to other road users
  • secure it well so that it will not fall over and become an obstruction or hazard.
Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Overview (rules 59 to 71)

Highway Code Rule 71

You MUST NOT cross the stop line when the traffic lights are red. Some junctions have an advanced stop line to enable you to wait and position yourself ahead of other traffic (see Rule 178).

Laws

Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Overview (rules 59 to 71)

Highway Code Rule 72

On the left. When approaching a junction on the left, watch out for vehicles turning in front of you, out of or into the side road. Just before you turn, check for undertaking cyclists or motorcyclists. Do not ride on the inside of vehicles signalling or slowing down to turn left.

Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Road junctions (rules 72 to 75)

Highway Code Rule 73

Pay particular attention to long vehicles which need a lot of room to manoeuvre at corners. Be aware that drivers may not see you. They may have to move over to the right before turning left. Wait until they have completed the manoeuvre because the rear wheels come very close to the kerb while turning. Do not be tempted to ride in the space between them and the kerb.

Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Road junctions (rules 72 to 75)

Highway Code Rule 74

On the right. If you are turning right, check the traffic to ensure it is safe, then signal and move to the centre of the road. Wait until there is a safe gap in the oncoming traffic and give a final look before completing the turn. It may be safer to wait on the left until there is a safe gap or to dismount and push your cycle across the road.

Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Road junctions (rules 72 to 75)

Highway Code Rule 75

Dual carriageways. Remember that traffic on most dual carriageways moves quickly. When crossing wait for a safe gap and cross each carriageway in turn. Take extra care when crossing slip roads.

Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Road junctions (rules 72 to 75)

Highway Code Rule 76

Full details about the correct procedure at roundabouts are contained in Rules 184 to 190. Roundabouts can be hazardous and should be approached with care.

Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Roundabouts (rules 76 to 78)

Highway Code Rule 77

You may feel safer walking your cycle round on the pavement or verge. If you decide to ride round keeping to the left-hand lane you should

  • be aware that drivers may not easily see you
  • take extra care when cycling across exits. You may need to signal right to show you are not leaving the roundabout
  • watch out for vehicles crossing your path to leave or join the roundabout.
Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Roundabouts (rules 76 to 78)

Highway Code Rule 78

Give plenty of room to long vehicles on the roundabout as they need more space to manoeuvre. Do not ride in the space they need to get round the roundabout. It may be safer to wait until they have cleared the roundabout.

Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Roundabouts (rules 76 to 78)

Highway Code Rule 79

Do not ride across equestrian crossings, as they are for horse riders only. Do not ride across a pelican, puffin or zebra crossing. Dismount and wheel your cycle across.

Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Crossing the road (rules 79 to 82)

Highway Code Rule 80

Toucan crossings. These are light-controlled crossings which allow cyclists and pedestrians to share crossing space and cross at the same time. They are push-button operated. Pedestrians and cyclists will see the green signal together. Cyclists are permitted to ride across.

Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Crossing the road (rules 79 to 82)

Highway Code Rule 81

Cycle-only crossings. Cycle tracks on opposite sides of the road may be linked by signalled crossings. You may ride across but you MUST NOT cross until the green cycle symbol is showing.

Law

Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Crossing the road (rules 79 to 82)

Highway Code Rule 82

Level crossings/Tramways. Take extra care when crossing the tracks (see Rule 306). You should dismount at level crossings where a ‘cyclist dismount’ sign is displayed.”
“These Rules are in addition to those in the following sections which apply to all vehicles. See ‘Motorcycle licence requirements‘.

Section: Rules for cyclists (rules 59 to 82)
Subsection: Crossing the road (rules 79 to 82)

Highway Code Rule 83

On all journeys, the rider and pillion passenger on a motorcycle, scooter or moped MUST wear a protective helmet. This does not apply to a follower of the Sikh religion while wearing a turban. Helmets MUST comply with the Regulations and they MUST be fastened securely. Riders and passengers of motor tricycles and quadricycles, also called quadbikes, should also wear a protective helmet. Before each journey check that your helmet visor is clean and in good condition.

Laws

Section: Rules for motorcyclists (rules 83 to 88)
Subsection: General (rules 83 to 88)

Highway Code Rule 84

It is also advisable to wear eye protectors, which MUST comply with the Regulations. Scratched or poorly fitting eye protectors can limit your view when riding, particularly in bright sunshine and the hours of darkness. Consider wearing ear protection. Strong boots, gloves and suitable clothing may help to protect you if you are involved in a collision.

Laws

Section: Rules for motorcyclists (rules 83 to 88)
Subsection: General (rules 83 to 88)

Highway Code Rule 85

You MUST NOT carry more than one pillion passenger who MUST sit astride the machine on a proper seat. They should face forward with both feet on the footrests. You MUST NOT carry a pillion passenger unless your motorcycle is designed to do so. Provisional licence holders MUST NOT carry a pillion passenger.

Laws

Section: Rules for motorcyclists (rules 83 to 88)
Subsection: General (rules 83 to 88)

Highway Code Rule 86

Daylight riding. Make yourself as visible as possible from the side as well as the front and rear. You could wear a light or brightly coloured helmet and fluorescent clothing or strips. Dipped headlights, even in good daylight, may also make you more conspicuous. However, be aware that other vehicle drivers may still not have seen you, or judged your distance or speed correctly, especially at junctions.

Rule 86: Help yourself to be seen
Section: Rules for motorcyclists (rules 83 to 88)
Subsection: General (rules 83 to 88)

Highway Code Rule 87

Riding in the dark. Wear reflective clothing or strips to improve your visibility in the dark. These reflect light from the headlamps of other vehicles, making you visible from a longer distance. See Rules 113 to 116 for lighting requirements.

Section: Rules for motorcyclists (rules 83 to 88)
Subsection: General (rules 83 to 88)

Highway Code Rule 88

Manoeuvring. You should be aware of what is behind and to the sides before manoeuvring. Look behind you; use mirrors if they are fitted. When in traffic queues look out for pedestrians crossing between vehicles and vehicles emerging from junctions or changing lanes. Position yourself so that drivers in front can see you in their mirrors. Additionally, when filtering in slow-moving traffic, take care and keep your speed low.

Remember: Observation – Signal – Manoeuvre

Section: Rules for motorcyclists (rules 83 to 88)
Subsection: General (rules 83 to 88)

Highway Code Rule 89

Vehicle condition. You MUST ensure your vehicle and trailer comply with the full requirements of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations and Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations (see ‘The road user and the law‘).

Section: Rules for drivers and motorcyclists (rules 89 to 102)
Subsection: Vehicle condition (rule 89)

Highway Code Rule 90

Make sure that you are fit to drive. You MUST report to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) any health condition likely to affect your driving.

Law

Section: Rules for drivers and motorcyclists (rules 89 to 102)
Subsection: Fitness to drive (rules 90 to 94)