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Changes to the Highway Code: rules on using motorways 

If you’re learning to drive or ride, you’ll no doubt be studying the Highway Code to learn the rules of the road.  

From today there are changes to the rules on using motorways, so it’s as important as ever that you “check the Code” – and continue to do so on a regular basis. 

For life, not just learners

The rules in the Highway Code are updated when there are changes in the law.   

New rules may be added while you are preparing for your practical test, or after you have passed. There have been 15 changes since 2015 alone. 

That means it’s really important to stay up to date, whether you’ve only had one lesson or held a licence for years. 

Most recent changes 

The changes made as of today refer to guidance on smart motorways. A total of 33 existing rules will be amended and two new rules introduced, with a number of amendments made to the additional information annexes. 

These include:  

  • clearer advice on where to stop in an emergency 
  • the importance of not driving in a lane closed by a Red X 
  • the use of variable speed limits to manage congestion 
  • updated guidance on key factors that contribute to safety-related incidents, including unroadworthy vehicles, tailgating and driving in roadworks 

How to stay updated 


It’s easy to keep up to date with the Highway Code, and any other future changes, online. 

GOV.UK includes a list of the latest updates that have been made, so it’s quick and easy to see what has changed. You can also sign up for email alerts whenever the Highway Code is updated.  

The Highway Code on GOV.UK allows you to: 

  • search for key words and phrases within The Highway Code 
  • quickly move between related rules 
  • follow links to the original laws that the rules are based on 
  • print sections more easily 

There’s also an official Highway Code app.

More ways to stay up to date

You can follow @HighwayCodeGB on Facebook to get regular road safety reminders and news of any updates.  

Future changes and print editions 


Over the coming months we anticipate some further changes to the Highway Code; we will keep you informed of these by email, on GOV.UK and on social media.  

We will write to you again with further details about the next, new printed edition of The Official Highway Code in 2022.  

Thank you for your support, 

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency 

More information 


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