Learn the UK Rules of Driving
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Learn Driving Rules

The Highway Code contains the rules of driving on a public road in the UK. Some of these rules are a legal obligation and some are an advisory code of conduct. Knowing these rules is a MUST for all road users. The rules are designed for everyone, follow these rules for safe driving.Highway Code

Many of the rules in the Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence. You may be fined, given penalty points on your licence or be disqualified from driving. In the most serious cases you may be sent to prison. Such rules are identified by the use of the words ‘MUST/MUST NOT’. In addition, the rule includes an abbreviated reference to the legislation which creates the offence. An explanation of the abbreviations can be found in 'The road user and the law' section of the Highway Code.

Road traffic law

The following list can be found abbreviated throughout the Code. It is not intended to be a comprehensive guide, but a guide to some of the important points of law. For the precise wording of the law, please refer to the various Acts and Regulations (as amended) indicated in the Code. Abbreviations are listed below.

Most of the provisions apply on all roads throughout Great Britain, although there are some exceptions. The definition of a road in England and Wales is ‘any highway and any other road to which the public has access and includes bridges over which a road passes’ (RTA 1988 sect 192(1)). In Scotland, there is a similar definition which is extended to include any way over which the public have a right of passage (R(S)A 1984 sect 151(1)).

It is important to note that references to ‘road’ therefore generally include footpaths, bridleways and cycle tracks, and many roadways and driveways on private land (including many car parks). In most cases, the law will apply to them and there may be additional rules for particular paths or ways. Some serious driving offences, including drink-driving offences, also apply to all public places, for example public car parks.

Here is one example of a Rule when applied to the control of a vehicle:

Contol of a vehicle Rules 117 - 126

One key ingredient on learning to drive over a short period of time, is the ability to stay focused. Distractions through others and those created by yourself can cost you a lot of time on your lessons. Residential intensive driving courses are one of the better ways to keep you focused. But they are not a requirement for you to keep focused. Your lessons should be total concentration on keeping your car safe on the road and not letting your mind wonder onto these distractions.


Rule: 117
In normal circumstances. The safest way to brake is to do so early and lightly. Brake more firmly as you begin to stop. Ease the pressure off just before the vehicle comes to rest to avoid a jerky stop.
Rule: 118
In an emergency. Brake immediately. Try to avoid braking so harshly that you lock your wheels. Locked wheels can lead to loss of control.
Rule: 119
Skids. Skidding is usually caused by the driver braking, accelerating or steering too harshly or driving too fast for the road conditions. If skidding occurs, remove the cause by releasing the brake pedal fully or easing off the accelerator. Turn the steering wheel in the direction of the skid. For example, if the rear of the vehicle skids to the right, steer immediately to the right to recover. Car skidding, showing a control procedure

Rule: 120
ABS. If your vehicle is fitted with anti-lock brakes, you should follow the advice given in the vehicle handbook. However, in the case of an emergency, apply the footbrake firmly; do not release the pressure until the vehicle has slowed to the desired speed. The ABS should ensure that steering control will be retained, but do not assume that a vehicle with ABS will stop in a shorter distance.
Rule: 121
Brakes affected by water. If you have driven through deep water your brakes may be less effective. Test them at the first safe opportunity by pushing gently on the brake pedal to make sure that they work. If they are not fully effective, gently apply light pressure while driving slowly. This will help to dry them out.
Rule: 122
Coasting. This term describes a vehicle travelling in neutral or with the clutch pressed down. It can reduce driver control because

  • engine braking is eliminated
  • vehicle speed downhill will increase quickly
  • increased use of the footbrake can reduce its effectiveness
  • steering response will be affected, particularly on bends and corners
  • it may be more difficult to select the appropriate gear when needed

Rule: 123
The Driver and the Environment. You MUST NOT leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road. Generally, if the vehicle is stationary and is likely to remain so for more than a couple of minutes, you should apply the parking brake and switch off the engine to reduce emissions and noise pollution. However it is permissible to leave the engine running if the vehicle is stationary in traffic or for diagnosing faults.

[Law CUR regs 98 & 107]

Speed limits

Rule: 124
You MUST NOT exceed the maximum speed limits for the road and for your vehicle (see the table above). The presence of street lights generally means that there is a 30 mph (48 km/h) speed limit unless otherwise specified.
[Law RTRA sects 81, 86, 89 & sch 6]
The speed limit is the absolute maximum and does not mean it is safe to drive at that speed irrespective of conditions. Driving at speeds too fast for the road and traffic conditions is dangerous. You should always reduce your speed when:

  • the road layout or condition presents hazards, such as bends
  • sharing the road with pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders, particularly children, and motorcyclists
  • weather conditions make it safer to do so
  • driving at night as it is more difficult to see other road users

Rule: 126
Stopping Distances
Drive at a speed that will allow you to stop well within the distance you can see to be clear. You should

Car skidding, showing a control procedure
  • leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front so that you can pull up safely if it suddenly slows down or stops. The safe rule is never to get closer than the overall stopping distance
  • allow at least a two-second gap between you and the vehicle in front on roads carrying faster-moving traffic and in tunnels where visibility is reduced. The gap should be at least doubled on wet roads and increased still further on icy roads
  • remember, large vehicles and motorcycles need a greater distance to stop. If driving a large vehicle in a tunnel, you should allow a four-second gap between you and the vehicle in front
  • If you have to stop in a tunnel, leave at least a 5-metre gap between you and the vehicle in front.

    Source Reference: Highway Code Rules 117 - 126
    Stopping Distance Link

One2One driving lessons

People sharing a car not one2one driving lessonsOn all driving courses you will be getting one2one tuition. This means that there will only be myself in the car with you. Some of the cheaper driving schools operate a shared driving lesson policy, which means there are up to two other learner drivers in the car with you. These driving lessons seem cheap but they are not really when you consider that you will only be driving for 20 minutes in every hour. So be careful before you book a cheap driving course.

One2One driving lessons

New driving test

Prepare now for the new test which started on October 4th 2010. An intensive driving course in Birmingham could help get you ready for the new practical test. The new driving test is called Independent Driving.
Read more and watch the video....

Weekend courses

If you find it difficult to get a week off work, then why not try a weekend driving course. You can book either a Saturday or Sunday, or both, without any long term commitment. These courses are ideal as top ups for weekly lessons, or to give you a boost just before a driving test.
New drivers are especially welcome as a weekend of lessons could get your motoring career off to a great start. Weekend Courses   »»

New driver weekend courses

New drivers (beginners) are advised to start their driver training by having as many driving lessons as they can over a short period of time. This will help re-inforce the correct procedures for driving away fom the kerb, parking, gear changing & road procedures. A theory test pass is not required for this type of course. An intensive driving course for new drivers is not intended to get you through your test in a week. Those days have long since gone and if you see any websites out there that say any different, then treat them with suspician. You will learn to drive in a week, but you will not be ready for your driving test.
New driver courses  »»»
New driver weekend lessons  »»»

Previous driving lessons experience

Learner drivers with previous driving experience can sometimes book their driving test at the end of their driving course depending on what previous experience they have had and how long ago.
Your driving lessons may have been sometime ago & taken with a great driving instructor or one of the not so greats. You may have taken a driving test or two or had over 100 driving lessons of poor quality either yours through lack of concentration or your driving instructors lack of attention to your training. Either way, you might be best to book a trial lesson with me before you book your driving test. A trial lesson is not required to book your course unless a driving test is required at the end of your course. Learner drivers with a good driving record of training might only need to book one of the weekend courses.
Intensive courses for experienced learner drivers  »»»

Green Driving Guide

Wise man stopping distance

Driving instructor statement