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Full contents
Introduction  
1-35   Rules for pedestrians
36-46   Rules for users of powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters
47-58   Rules about animals
58-82   Rules for cyclists
83-88   Rules for motorcyclists
89-102   Rules for drivers and motorcyclists
103-158   General rules, techniques and advice for all drivers and riders
159-203   Using the road
204-225   Road users requiring extra care
226-237   Driving in adverse weather conditions
238-252   Waiting and parking
253-273   Motorways
274-287   Breakdowns and incidents
288-290   Road works
291-299   Level crossings
300-307   Tramways
 
 
Others
Choosing and maintaining your bicycle  
Motorcycle licence requirements  
Motor vehicle documentation and learner driver requirements  
The road user and the law  
Penalties  
Vehicle maintenance, safety and security  
First aid on the road  
Safety code for new drivers  
 
Signs & markings
Light signals controlling traffic  
Signals to other road users  
Signals by authorised persons  
 
Traffic signs
Signs giving orders  
Warning signs  
Direction signs  
Information signs  
Road works signs  
 
Markings
Road markings  
Vehicle markings  
 

Highway code

Multi-lane carriageways

133-143   back next >
 
 
      Lane discipline
133
If you need to change lane, first use your mirrors and if necessary take a quick sideways glance to make sure you will not force another road user to change course or speed. When it is safe to do so, signal to indicate your intentions to other road users and when clear, move over.
134 You should follow the signs and road markings and get into the lane as directed. In congested road conditions do not change lanes unnecessarily. Merging in turn is recommended but only if safe and appropriate when vehicles are travelling at a very low speed, e.g. when approaching road works or a road traffic incident. It is not recommended at high speed.
 
      Single carriageways
135
Where a single carriageway has three lanes and the road markings or signs do not give priority to traffic in either direction
use the middle lane only for overtaking or turning right. Remember, you have no more right to use the middle lane than a driver coming from the opposite direction
do not use the right-hand lane.
The Highway Code book
The Highway Code
   
Highway code book
136
Where a single carriageway has four or more lanes, use only the lanes that signs or markings indicate.
 
      Dual carriageways
A dual carriageway is a road which has a central reservation to separate the carriageways.
137
On a two-lane dual carriageway you should stay in the left-hand lane. Use the right-hand lane for overtaking or turning right. After overtaking, move back to the left-hand lane when it is safe to do so.
138 On a three-lane dual carriageway, you may use the middle lane or the right-hand lane to overtake but return to the middle and then the left-hand lane when it is safe.
139 Climbing and crawler lanes. These are provided on some hills. Use this lane if you are driving a slow-moving vehicle or if there are vehicles behind you wishing to overtake. Be aware of the signs and road markings which indicate the lane is about to end.
140 Cycle lanes. These are shown by road markings and signs. You MUST NOT drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a solid white line during its times of operation. Do not drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a broken white line unless it is unavoidable. You MUST NOT park in any cycle lane whilst waiting restrictions apply. Law RTRA sects 5 & 8
141 Bus lanes. These are shown by road markings and signs that indicate which (if any) other vehicles are permitted to use the bus lane. Unless otherwise indicated, you should not drive in a bus lane during its period of operation. You may enter a bus lane to stop, to load or unload where this is not prohibited.
142 High-occupancy vehicle lanes and other designated vehicle lanes. Lanes may be restricted for use by particular types of vehicle; these restrictions may apply some or all of the time. The operating times and vehicle types will be indicated on the accompanying traffic signs. You MUST NOT drive in such lanes during their times of operation unless signs indicate that your vehicle is permitted (see ‘Information signs’).
Vehicles permitted to use designated lanes may or may not include cycles, buses, taxis, licensed private hire vehicles, motorcycles, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and high-occupancy vehicles (HOVs). Where HOV lanes are in operation, they MUST ONLY be used by
vehicles containing at least the minimum number of people indicated on the traffic signs
any other vehicles, such as buses and motorcycles, as indicated on signs prior to the start of the lane, irrespective of the number of occupants.
  Laws RTRA sects 5 & 8, & RTA 1988, sect 36
143 One-way streets. Traffic MUST travel in the direction indicated by signs. Buses and/or cycles may have a contraflow lane. Choose the correct lane for your exit as soon as you can. Do not change lanes suddenly. Unless road signs or markings indicate otherwise, you should use
the left-hand lane when going left
the right-hand lane when going right
the most appropriate lane when going straight ahead. Remember – traffic could be passing on both sides. Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & RTRA sects 5 & 8
   
   
 
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Crown copyright material has been reproduced by permission of the Driving Standards Agency which does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the reproduction.
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