Driving on the highway for the first time in the United Kingdom can sometimes be nerve-racking and scary, especially those that are new to having a drivers license or even an experienced driver in bad weather. We all feel the same when driving, whether you feel scared or excited. But do you know what is allowed on the highway and what isn’t? Today we’ll be looking at the most common and important highway laws and legislations to keep you safe from being involved in a accident or just regular driving.
The Highway Code applies to Wales, Scotland and England and is a Government issued traffic and driving reading book which is essential to read for everyone. The reading notes all the legislations, laws and rules for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists etc.
Speed limit (National England Highway/Motorways)
The National speed limit for cars on motorways is set to 70mph respectively. Drivers should stay under the limit and not pass the limit unless you are authorised, eg members of the emergency response group on emergency call (police, ambulances, fire response). Vehicles carrying heavy goods, coaches/buses and towed caravans are only allowed to exceed to 60mph.
Driving above the limit can result in a £100 fine and 3 points on your drivers license, at the minimum. Depending on which speed you were travelling at when you are caught over-speeding could also result in a ban from driving if you are prosecuted and charged.
Overtaking and undertaking another motorist
When overtaking another motorist on the motorway, you should always ask yourself and think, is it safe for me to change lanes and legal?
To overtake another vehicle is completely legal, but must be done the correct way. Drivers must overtake in the right-hand lane then move back into the left lane when it is safe for you to do so. Undertaking another vehicle is not illegal however is an act which can result in a major collision or accident. For this reason if you are caught by the police you are reliable to be prosecuted as it is considered an act of careless driving.
The Highway Code demoralizes undertaking and states in the reading;
"”Do not overtake on the left or enter the lane on the left to overtake to overtake”"
If you are planning to overtake a vehicle whilst on the motorway then always check your mirrors, use your indicators to signal to other road users you are about to enter another lane and always over take when it is clear and safe to do so.
Vehicle safety requirements
When driving in the UK, whether this be a local road or motorway, you must always make sure that your motor is up to the standards that is required by the law to be on the road. This means your motor must have MOT, insurance and meet the road safety standards. This includes making sure all your lights/indicators are in working order, check your tyres if they are suitable to meet the requirements (1.6mm tread depth) and check your brakes are working as they should.