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When did you last pick up the Highway Code? One in five motorists haven't referred to it for a decade, despite it being updated 48 TIMES since 2015

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 19/02/2019 Rob Hull For Thisismoney.co.uk

When was the last time you picked up a copy of the Highway Code to brush up on your driving etiquette?

According to a new poll, few motorists regularly refer to the 'bible of the road' for driving code of conduct, with a third admitting they've not read any part of it since they passed their test.

Worryingly, one if five of the 22,000 drivers surveyed said it's been at least 10 years since they looked at a copy - even despite the rule book being updated 48 times in the last three years.

Are you up to scratch on driving knowledge? A new survey of motorists found that 1 in 5 haven't looked at a copy of the Highway Code for over 10 years, meaning they may not know about significant changes to rules that have been introduced during that period © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Are you up to scratch on driving knowledge? A new survey of motorists found that 1 in 5 haven't looked at a copy of the Highway Code for over 10 years, meaning they may not know about significant changes to rules that have been introduced during that period

Halfords Autocentres asked drivers as part of its roadworthiness quiz about the last time they'd grabbed a copy of the Highway Code, with some starting findings.

Some 36 per cent of motorists who took the quiz confessed to not reading the rules of the road since passing their driving test - which may have occurred decades ago.

In fact, one in five polled admitted it had been more than 10 years since they looked at the road users' manual.

This may raise issues with road safety charities who could accuse drivers of easily forgetting important laws that need to be adhered to on British roads.

The Highway Code is also updated on a rolling basis to reflect new rules, technology and infrastructure that all licence holders need to know about.

In fact, the Department for Transport's records show 48 amendments have been made to the guide between 2015 and 2018, meaning plenty of motorists are far from up to scratch on their driving knowledge.

These 48 updates include some hugely important pieces of information that impact all UK drivers.

For instance, they include: lower drink drive limits in Scotland from 2015; increased penalties for being caught at the wheel using a handheld device from 2017; changes to the MOT test introduced last May and; the allowance for learner drivers to have lessons on motorways from June 2018.

10 significant changes to the Highway Code since 2015 

30 November 2018: Added information about using remote control parking and driver assistance systems in rule 103 to 158.

3 June 2018: Updated rule 253 with information about provisional licence holders driving on the motorway if accompanied by an approved driving instructor in a car with dual controls.

19 May 2018: Updated the rule about vehicles that need an MOT, as cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles manufactured or first registered over 40 years ago, are exempt from the MOT test from 20 May 2018 - unless the vehicle has been substantially changed within the previous 30 years.

26 April 2018: Update rule 108 to make it clear that traffic officers have powers to stop vehicles on most motorways and some 'A' class roads in both England and Wales - not just England.

1 March 2017: Updated the penalty table to increase penalty points for using a hand-held mobile phone when driving from 3 to 6.

5 December 2016: Rule 148 updated to include the information on it being offence in Scotland for anyone aged 18 or over to smoke in a private motor vehicle (unless it is parked and being used as living accommodation) when there is someone under 18 in the vehicle and the vehicle is in a public place. Also a link to the legislation has been added.

3 February 2016: Updated Rule 209 with new image of the school bus road sign. 

1 October 2015: Updated rule 148 to include that you MUST NOT smoke in a private vehicle carrying under 18s. 

6 April 2015: Updated the national speed limit for goods vehicles (of more than 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight) in England and Wales on single carriageways from 40mph to 50mph, and on dual carriageways from 50mph to 60mph. 

2 March 2015: Updated rule 96 to reflect the change in law that you MUST NOT drive if you have illegal drugs or certain medicines in your blood above specified limits. 

Source: Department for Transport

Motorists have been asked by the repairs and servicing firm to answer 11 questions to test if they are roadworthy or not.

This includes driving knowledge about legal tyre depths, whether it's legal or not to drive with no window-washer fluid and how to act if you see a lane closure sign on a motorway.  

The initiative has also won the support of Highways England, which is keen to keep the country's network of motorways and major A-roads running smoothly and safely during the first big getaway of 2019 this half term. 

Some 48 changes have been made to the Highway Code since 2015, according to the Department for Transport © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Some 48 changes have been made to the Highway Code since 2015, according to the Department for Transport

Richard Leonard, Highways England head of road safety, said: 'We want all drivers to arrive at their destinations safely, and we urge motorists to make sure they are ready for their journey by checking their vehicles beforehand.

'Simple checks of things like tyre tread and pressure, along with making sure you have plenty of fuel and oil in the vehicle can all help to prevent breakdowns. 

'This quiz will helpfully remind people about the importance of those checks.'

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