Highway Code ignorance highlighted


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The Independent Online

Millions of drivers could be putting themselves, fellow motorists and pedestrians at risk because they do not know The Highway Code, a survey has revealed.

One in six drivers have ignored road signs when they do not know what they mean, Goodyear's Test the Nation survey found.

More than four in 10 (44%) drivers could not correctly identify that a red and amber traffic light shown together meant stop, Goodyear's Test the Nation survey found.

Instead they thought it meant to proceed with caution.

The study tested 2,000 drivers on road rules and signs and found that while almost half rated their knowledge of the Highway Code as good or very good, that was not the case.

Almost three out of 10 did not think it was necessary to stop if a pedestrian was at a zebra crossing waiting to cross, while more than a quarter did not know the speed limit in a built up area is 30mph.

More than a quarter failed to correctly identify the no right turn sign. One in seven thought the sign meant the road up ahead on the right was closed.

The survey also found that almost a third of all drivers failed their theory test at least once, while more than a quarter have been involved in a motor vehicle accident as a driver since getting their licence.


Highway Code quiz: Test your knowledge

(Answers at the bottom of the page)

1. Why would you flash your lights at someone?

a)    To signal them to go
b)   To intimidate them
c)    To let them know you’re there
d)   To ask them to let you pass

2. Under what circumstances can you refuse your name and address to someone with whom you’ve been involved in a collision?

a)    None whatsoever
b)   If the collision was clearly their fault
c)    If you give the details to the police within 24 hours
d)   If you are on your way to a hospital

3. By roughly how much does your stopping distance increase on a wet road?

a)    Double
b)   Triple
c)    By 50 per cent
d)   By 25 per cent

4. What is the fastest speed a powered wheelchair or mobility scooter can travel on pavement?

a)    3mph
b)   4mph
c)    5mph
d)   10mph

5. What does it mean if a driver ahead of you sticks his or her arm out of the window and sweeps her palm repeatedly downwards?

a)    Please go ahead and overtake me.
b)   Please don’t drive so close to me. 
c)    I intend to slow down or stop.
d)   Danger ahead

6. What does a circular sign with a red border mean?

a)    A warning
b)   ‘You must not…’
c)    ‘You must do…’
d)   A speed limit

7. What does it mean if a school traffic warden has his sign held pointing upwards?

a)    No traffic can pass.
b)   Traffic should prepare to stop.
c)    No pedestrians can pass.
d)   Only bicycles can pass.

8. When can you drive through an amber traffic light?

a)    Never.
b)   When the road ahead is clear.
c)    When you have already crossed the stop line.
d)   When you are turning left immediately after.

9. Excepting when there is danger, when is it illegal to use your horn?

a)    When your car is stationary.
b)   In a built-up area between 11:30pm and 7am.
c)    In a built-up area between midnight and 6am.
d)   Both A and B.
e)    Both A and C.

10. How long can you leave a parked car unattended with the engine running?

a)    Up to 1 minute.
b)   Up to 5 minutes.
c)    Up to 10 minutes.
d)   Never.


Answers: 1c; 2c; 3a; 4b; 5c; 6b; 7a; 8c; 9d; 10d