Highway code confusion

Monday 25th January, 2010 at 20:01 COMMENTS (0)

It seems that British motorists are exposed as being out of touch with the Highway Code, according to research from  Only three per cent correctly identified five standard rules from the Code*. 

The research from the UK's leading price comparison site revealed two thirds of motorists (65 per cent) failed to recognise the sign for 'no vehicles', over a third (39 per cent) of those surveyed admitted they don't know what the sign means, and a fifth (21 per cent) incorrectly think it means 'obey next warning sign'.  Only one in three (35 per cent) of drivers correctly identified the sign as meaning 'no vehicles. 

For roads where a 30 mph minimum speed limit applies, the research found almost half of Brits (43 per cent) believed the sign to represent roads where a 30 mph speed limit should be adhered to.  Just over a third (38 per cent) of Brits correctly identified the road sign.  Luckily the vast majority of drivers (93 per cent) correctly identified the sign for 'oncoming vehicles have the right of way over you'. 

Steve Sweeney, head of motor insurance at said: "It is worrying to see so many British motorists 'crash and burn' when tested on standard Highway Code rules.  Motorists are required by law to be able to recognise and adhere to the rules of the Highway Code.  Any motorist found to be flouting the rules could be fined, given penalty points on their licence - or worse still, disqualified from driving altogether and sent to prison."

The survey also revealed 23 per cent of motorists were not aware pedestrians should be their main priority when turning into a side road.  Finally, when asked about the key consideration when carrying out a u-turn, only a quarter (23 per cent) of drivers correctly identified 'signalling so other drivers can slow down' - a quarter (23 per cent) would incorrectly look over their shoulder in the first instance, and one in ten (nine per cent) believe giving arm signals in addition to using their indicators was the way to go. 

So, motorists that have passed the driving test don't seem to measure up to what you the learner are expected to know.  Whilst It is all well and good learning the ins and outs of the Highway Code in order to pass the standard theory test, but the real test is the ability to recognise the meaning of the rules for years to come. 

You can read the contents of The Highway Code

* Research undertaken by Opinium Research based on an online poll of 1,509 British drivers in August 2009.  Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria. 


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