The law

The Highway Code

You can find the Highway Code for all road users at www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Highwaycode/index.htm. It applies to pedestrians and cyclists just as much as drivers and motorcyclists.

Many of the rules in the Highway Code are legal requirements. Such rules are identified by the use of the words 'MUST / MUST NOT'. For drivers and riders, breaking the law could result in a fine, licence endorsement*, disqualification or imprisonment.

Advisory rules, which are not legal requirements, use wording such as 'should / should not' or 'do / do not'.

Both legal requirements and advisory rules may be used in evidence in court to establish liability (who is responsible for something).

* If you're convicted of a motoring offence, the courts can fine you and endorse your driving licence with penalty points, which stay on your driving licence for a number of years. If you get a certain number, you could be disqualified from driving. See www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/DriverLicensing/EndorsementsAndDisqualifications/DG_4022550M for more information.