The Highway Code just got updated – let’s get you up to speed
You know the basics of the Highway Code already – it’s basically the rulebook that details the conduct, practices and standards that drivers are expected to adhere to on British roads. Most of it is fairly obvious stuff, especially if you’ve been driving for a while and you’re no stranger to the best van deals, but it does get updated from time to time, so it’s worth checking back in on it occasionally. Happily, we’re saving you the bother this time, with the most recent update in September 2021.
How often does the Highway Code change?
Our roads (and the cars on them) are always evolving, so the Highway Code is constantly evolving to keep up, too. New rules are introduced a few times a year. For example, during the 2020, nothing new was added – largely because of the pandemic – but during 2019 and 2018 new rules were added 3 and 5 times respectively. Not all rules will be new, with some being altered or amended depending on frequent breaches, older rules being outdated or new conditions that need additional attention.
What are the new changes that impact van drivers?
As we’ve touched on above, most of the changes outlined are probably a matter of common sense. (Not reversing down the motorway, for example.) However, others you might be prone to breaking more often than you’d like to admit – poor sleeping patterns are a pretty endemic problem for our industry! Also, don’t forget that many of these rules, if breached, can be punished by fines and points on your license. These new rules are:
- Rule 91 – “drivers must ensure sufficient sleep before their journey.” This is especially important for van drivers who are travelling long distances at either ends of the day.
- Rule 98 – “reduced speed limits may apply when towing.” While it might not be a daily concern for the majority of van drivers, it’s still worth bearing in mind.. Particular focus may be on homeowners renting vans to move house and towing an additional trailer.
- Rule 263 – “it is illegal to reverse along any part of a motorway, including slip roads, hard shoulders and emergency areas.” – while this is also rare, it is a warning to motorists who may be feeling time constraints and want to risk reversing after missing an exit or to reach an emergency telephone box sooner.
- Rule 269 – “hard shoulders are for emergency use only.” Many people use the hard shoulder for stoppages, bathroom breaks or to stretch on long journeys. This rule is in place to remind drivers that those reasons no longer fit the bill. This rule includes images in the Highway Code.
- Rule 280 – “on motorways, drivers and passengers must not retrieve items that fall from a vehicle or attempt to move an obstruction.” This rule is an update on an old rule. The latter of the rule may not be relevant, but the first part may be if your van door is loose and you lose something from it.
If you need to read up on a little more detail, you can always visit the official Highway Code site – it’s a bit more authoritative than us! If you’re looking for the best van deals on the other hand, you’re in exactly the right place. At Van Discount, we offer some of the best van deals on the market, and regularly save our customers an average of 40% off the cost of a new van – often equating to thousands of pounds off leading brands like Citroen, Renault, Vauxhall and Ford. For more information, contact our team of experts!