A draft of the first Highway Code was issued

Monday 15th December 1930

A draft of the first Highway Code was issued. The first edition was published in April 1931, with a price of one penny, and contained only 18 pages of advice, including the arm signals to be given by drivers and police officers controlling traffic. The second edition, considerably expanded, appeared in 1934, and illustrated road signs for the first time. During its preparation the Ministry of Transport consulted with the Pedestrians Association. Further major revisions followed after the Second World War so that, for example, references to trams were still included in the 1954 version but disappeared after that (tramway rules returned to the Code in 1994, after the first modern tram systems in Britain had opened). Motorway driving was included in the fifth edition. The sixth edition, in 1968, used photographs as well as drawings for the first time, and also updated the illustrations of road signs to take the new ‘continental’ designs into account. The 70-page 1978 edition introduced the Green Cross Code for pedestrians and orange badges for less able drivers. The format was changed to a ‘taller’ size in the 1990s, and the Code caught up with developments in social media in 2011, when it joined Twitter and Facebook. A Highway Code app followed in 2012. Over one million copies of the Code are sold annually.

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