A replica of the very first edition of The Highway Code is being published to mark its 80th anniversary.
The Code has helped to save thousands of lives over the last 80 years. The Highway Code: 1931 Anniversary Edition is an exact replica of this first edition, complete with a note of introduction from the Minister of Transport at the time.
Despite the number of motor vehicles on Britain’s roads increasing from just 2.3m in 1931 to more than 34m today, the overriding message of The Highway Code remains the same. The very first edition in 1931 was introduced as "a code of good manners to be observed by all courteous and considerate persons", and to encourage drivers to put safety first.
Other aspects of the guide have, however, changed considerably. In the 1931 edition there is no reference to road signs, stopping distances, traffic lights or mirrors. Much of the original guide is given over to hand signals, and there is also a section devoted to horse-drawn vehicles, including advice on how to rotate a whip above your head to indicate which direction the vehicle is about to turn.
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