New Highway Code tells drivers not to smoke

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Drivers are told not to light up at the wheel in a revised version of the Highway Code published yesterday.

Smoking appears on a list of ‘distractions’ which drivers and riders are told to ‘avoid’ in the first major update to the Code since 1999.

It means the fact a driver was smoking could be cited in court by police seeking a prosecution for careless driving.

The revised Highway Code also contains new instructions for novice drivers, telling them: “Never show off or try to compete with other drivers, particularly if they are driving badly.”

Road safety minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: “We know that the first few months after passing your driving test can be a risky time. This is reflected in the latest Code which offers practical safety advice and reminders of the rules new drivers must abide by."

The updated Code also includes new reference to high-occupancy lanes and lists motorcycles as one of the types of vehicles which ‘may or may not’ use them depending on instructions given by accompanying traffic signs.

It refers to powers given to Highways Agency Traffic Officers to stop and direct traffic, saying: ‘You must follow any directions given by Police officers or Traffic officers as to whether you can safely pass the incident or blockage.’

See the Code at http://www.direct.gov.uk/highwaycode

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Steve Farrell

By Steve Farrell