The Highway Code

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307 Highway Code Rules

Highway Code Rule 181

When turning right at crossroads where an oncoming vehicle is also turning right, there is a choice of two methods

  • turn right side to right side; keep the other vehicle on your right and turn behind it. This is generally the safer method as you have a clear view of any approaching traffic when completing your turn
  • left side to left side, turning in front of each other. This can block your view of oncoming vehicles, so take extra care. Cyclists and motorcyclists in particular may be hidden from your view. Road layout, markings or how the other vehicle is positioned can determine which course should be taken.
Rule 181: Left – Turning right side to right side. Right – Turning left side to left side
Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Road junctions (rules 170 to 183)

Highway Code Rule 182

Use your mirrors and give a left-turn signal well before you turn left. Do not overtake just before you turn left and watch out for traffic coming up on your left before you make the turn, especially if driving a large vehicle. Cyclists, motorcyclists and other road users in particular may be hidden from your view.

Rule 182: Do not cut in on cyclists
Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Road junctions (rules 170 to 183)

Highway Code Rule 183

When turning

  • keep as close to the left as is safe and practicable
  • give way to any vehicles using a bus lane, cycle lane, cycle track or tramway from either direction, including when they are passing slow moving or stationary vehicles on either side.
Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Road junctions (rules 170 to 183)

Highway Code Rule 184

On approaching a roundabout take notice and act on all the information available to you, including traffic signs, traffic lights and lane markings which direct you into the correct lane. You should

  • use Mirrors – Signal – Manoeuvre at all stages
  • decide as early as possible which exit you need to take
  • give an appropriate signal (see Rule 186, below). Time your signals so as not to confuse other road users
  • get into the correct lane
  • adjust your speed and position to fit in with traffic conditions
  • be aware of the speed and position of all the road users around you.
Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Roundabouts (rules 184 to 190)

Highway Code Rule 185

When reaching the roundabout you should

  • give priority to traffic approaching from your right, unless directed otherwise by signs, road markings or traffic lights
  • check whether road markings allow you to enter the roundabout without giving way. If so, proceed, but still look to the right before joining
  • watch out for all other road users already on the roundabout; be aware they may not be signalling correctly or at all
  • look forward before moving off to make sure traffic in front has moved off.
Rule 185: Follow the correct procedure at roundabouts
Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Roundabouts (rules 184 to 190)

Highway Code Rule 186

Signals and position. When taking the first exit to the left, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise

  • signal left and approach in the left-hand lane
  • keep to the left on the roundabout and continue signalling left to leave.

When taking an exit to the right or going full circle, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise

  • signal right and approach in the right-hand lane
  • keep to the right on the roundabout until you need to change lanes to exit the roundabout
  • signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you want.

When taking any intermediate exit, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise

  • select the appropriate lane on approach to the roundabout
  • you should not normally need to signal on approach
  • stay in this lane until you need to alter course to exit the roundabout
  • signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you want.

When there are more than three lanes at the entrance to a roundabout, use the most appropriate lane on approach and through it.

You should give priority to cyclists on the roundabout. They will be travelling more slowly than motorised traffic. Give them plenty of room and do not attempt to overtake them within their lane. Allow them to move across your path as they travel around the roundabout.

Cyclists, horse riders and horse drawn vehicles may stay in the left-hand lane when they intend to continue across or around the roundabout and should signal right to show you they are not leaving the roundabout. Drivers should take extra care when entering a roundabout to ensure that they do not cut across cyclists, horse riders or horse drawn vehicles in the left-hand lane, who are continuing around the roundabout.

Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Roundabouts (rules 184 to 190)

Highway Code Rule 187

In all cases watch out for and give plenty of room to

  • pedestrians who may be crossing the approach and exit roads
  • traffic crossing in front of you on the roundabout, especially vehicles intending to leave by the next exit
  • traffic which may be straddling lanes or positioned incorrectly
  • motorcyclists
  • long vehicles (including those towing trailers). These might have to take a different course or straddle lanes either approaching or on the roundabout because of their length. Watch out for their signals.
Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Roundabouts (rules 184 to 190)

Highway Code Rule 188

Mini-roundabouts. Approach these in the same way as normal roundabouts. All vehicles MUST pass round the central markings except large vehicles which are physically incapable of doing so. Remember, there is less space to manoeuvre and less time to signal. Avoid making U-turns at mini-roundabouts. Beware of others doing this.

Laws

Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Roundabouts (rules 184 to 190)

Highway Code Rule 189

At double mini-roundabouts treat each roundabout separately and give way to traffic from the right.

Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Roundabouts (rules 184 to 190)

Highway Code Rule 190

Multiple roundabouts. At some complex junctions, there may be a series of mini-roundabouts at each intersection. Treat each mini-roundabout separately and follow the normal rules.

Rule 190: Treat each roundabout separately
Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Roundabouts (rules 184 to 190)

Highway Code Rule 191

You MUST NOT park on a crossing or in the area covered by the zig-zag lines. You MUST NOT overtake the moving vehicle nearest the crossing or the vehicle nearest the crossing which has stopped to give way to pedestrians.

Laws

Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Pedestrian crossings (rules 191 to 199)

Highway Code Rule 192

In slow-moving and queuing traffic you should keep crossings completely clear, as blocking these makes it difficult and dangerous for pedestrians to cross. You should not enter a pedestrian crossing if you are unable to completely clear the crossing. Nor should you block advanced stop lines for cycles.

Rule 192: Keep the crossing clear
Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Pedestrian crossings (rules 191 to 199)

Highway Code Rule 193

You should take extra care where the view of either side of the crossing is blocked by queuing traffic or incorrectly parked vehicles. Pedestrians may be crossing between stationary vehicles.

Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Pedestrian crossings (rules 191 to 199)

Highway Code Rule 194

Allow pedestrians plenty of time to cross and do not harass them by revving your engine or edging forward.

Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Pedestrian crossings (rules 191 to 199)

Highway Code Rule 195

Zebra and parallel crossings. As you approach a zebra crossing

  • look out for pedestrians waiting to cross and be ready to slow down or stop to let them cross
  • you should give way to pedestrians waiting to cross
  • you MUST give way when a pedestrian has moved onto a crossing
  • allow more time for stopping on wet or icy roads
  • do not wave, flash your lights or use your horn to invite pedestrians across; this could be dangerous if another vehicle is approaching
  • be patient, do not sound your horn or rev your engine as this can be intimidating
  • be aware of pedestrians approaching from the side of the crossing.

A zebra crossing with a central island is two separate crossings (see Rules 19 and 20).

Parallel crossings are similar to zebra crossings, but include a cycle route alongside the black and white stripes.

As you approach a parallel crossing

  • look out for pedestrians or cyclists waiting to cross and slow down or stop
  • you should give way to pedestrians or cyclists waiting to cross
  • you MUST give way when a pedestrian or cyclist has moved onto a crossing
  • allow more time for stopping on wet or icy roads
  • do not wave, flash your lights or use your horn to invite pedestrians or cyclists across; this could be dangerous if another vehicle is approaching
  • be patient, do not sound your horn or rev your engine as this can be intimidating
  • be aware of pedestrians or cyclists approaching from the side of the crossing.

A parallel crossing with a central island is two separate crossings (see Rules 19 and 20).

Law

Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Pedestrian crossings (rules 191 to 199)

Highway Code Rule 196

Pelican crossings. These are signal-controlled crossings where flashing amber follows the red ‘Stop’ light. You MUST stop when the red light shows. When the amber light is flashing, you MUST give way to any pedestrians on the crossing. If the amber light is flashing and there are no pedestrians on the crossing, you may proceed with caution.

Laws

Rule 196: Allow pedestrians to cross when the amber light is flashing
Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Pedestrian crossings (rules 191 to 199)

Highway Code Rule 197

Pelican crossings which go straight across the road are one crossing, even when there is a central island. You MUST wait for pedestrians who are crossing from the other side of the island.

Laws

Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Pedestrian crossings (rules 191 to 199)

Highway Code Rule 198

Give way to anyone still crossing after the signal for vehicles has changed to green. This advice applies to all crossings.

Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Pedestrian crossings (rules 191 to 199)

Highway Code Rule 199

Toucan, puffin and equestrian crossings. These are similar to pelican crossings, but there is no flashing amber phase; the light sequence for traffic at these three crossings is the same as at traffic lights. If the signal-controlled crossing is not working, proceed with extreme caution. Do not enter the crossing if you are unable to completely clear it, to avoid obstructing pedestrians, cyclists or horse riders.

Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Pedestrian crossings (rules 191 to 199)

Highway Code Rule 200

Choose an appropriate place to manoeuvre. If you need to turn your vehicle around, wait until you find a safe place. Try not to reverse or turn round in a busy road; find a quiet side road or drive round a block of side streets.

Section: Using the road (rules 159 to 203)
Subsection: Reversing (200 to 203)