The Official Highway Code, by Dept for Transport: #BookReview.

Subtitled ‘This guide is for all road users’ this 2022 edition is the 8th revision. I read the 1969 version after learning to drive and taking my test when I was 19. I’m sure there must have been an earlier edition as I recall reading one before that test. Subsequently, I read the 1978 edition, but not the 1987, 1993, 1999, 2007, or 2015 versions. And I suspect I’m by no means alone in that neglect.
We learn to drive, pass our driving test, and hopefully gain experience of what does and does not constitute good driving as we journey through life. However, with changes in technology, increases in the speed of vehicles, adjustments to road design, and many other alterations over the years, we really should keep up to date with the rules of the road.

Any motor vehicle, whether two-wheeled or more, is an effective killing machine in the hands of the irresponsible, uncaring, inconsistent, daydreaming, speeding, selfish or inexperienced operator. Yet many treat such machines with little of the respect they require.
The Highway Code is drawn up by the government’s Department for Transport and is full of advice, commands, and information relating to everyone who uses the roads in the UK. It details those aspects of road usage that MUST be followed, those that will result in prosecution if they’re not followed, those that are only advisory but recommended, and those that are downright dangerous to other road users.
There have been several changes to the advice and regulation contained in this book and everyone should be aware of these.
In fact, returning to that subtitle, ‘This guide is for all road users’, I feel I must ask a pretty basic question: Why is it not distributed freely? We pay our taxes and, as citizens, are required to follow the advice provided by our leaders. The book is promoted as an essential guide to ensure the safety of all citizens as they use the roads. That must include almost everyone. Doesn’t it make simple sense to make this book freely available to all by giving it to every household, rather than leaving it to the individual whether or not to bother with it?


[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]

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