Traffic laws are created not only for your own protection but also for the sake of other motorists and pedestrians. Disobeying traffic laws might put us and/or innocent people at harm’s way. Therefore, it is essential to be informed of the rules of the road not only to prevent a crash but also to help protect lives. Striving to uphold the traffic laws in your day-to-day commute can also ensure the effectiveness of the existing road safety policies.

LawEvery country has its own written or unwritten traffic laws. Here are general traffic laws you have to understand in order to help you become a responsible driver or commuter in the UK roads.

Traffic Laws for Drivers

Drive on the left-hand side of the road. If you’re used to driving on the right, it would be helpful to have a conspicuous reminder on your dashboard that says Think Left!’ Be extra vigilant when you are pulling out of one-way streets, junctions and at roundabouts. Even if it is not mandatory, you should always have on the trunk of your car a warning triangle. In case of a breakdown or an accident, you should put it at the edge of the road. With the help of your hazard warning lights, it can signal other drivers accordingly. Individuals 14 years old and over are required by law to wear front and rear seat belts. If any passenger is below 14 years old, it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that they are wearing proper child restraints. You must always stop at a red traffic light. Motorists driving through red lights would receive notification based on the evidence provided by the cameras installed at the scene of traffic violation. Drive with caution especially when approaching pedestrian crossings. Do not overtake another vehicle on roads marked by zigzag lines or a double line of studs. Do not use a mobile phone while driving. Find a safe place to where you can stop before taking the call or making one. Different speed limits apply depending on the vehicle you’re driving and the type of the road you are in. Never go beyond the speed limit set by the law to avoid accidents.

Traffic Laws for Pedestrians

Always use the provided pavements for pedestrians. If there is none, stay on the right path along the side of a road. If possible, do not walk with your back to the traffic. In case of heavy traffic, be prepared to walk in single file. Look both ways first before you cross to the other side of the road. Cross the road well before a sharp right-hand bend to give drivers a better chance of seeing you. When walking at night or through poor daylight conditions, you should wear or carry something bright or made from reflective materials to help other road users see you.When taking children out, make sure you are on the outer side of the pavement next to the traffic. Hold their hands firmly to make sure that they won’t just cross road without any warning.

You can find a comprehensive guide of traffic laws for all road users in the booklet The Highway Code, published by the Department for Transport. To determine the level of your driving ability, take the dsa practical test. You need to be able to pass this driving theory test before taking your practical test.