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History of road safety, The Highway Code and the driving test

An overview of the history of road safety developments in Great Britain, The Highway Code, and the driving test.



This document gives an overview of the history of:

  • road safety improvements which have been made in Great Britain
  • The Highway Code
  • the driving test
Published 8 November 2012
Last updated 22 February 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added information about improvements to approved driving instructor (ADI) qualifying tests made in December 2017, and the hazard perception test including video clips to test a learner driver’s ability to spot hazards in different weather conditions from November 2018.

  2. Corrected the date that the top speed for mopeds was set at 30 miles per hour from 1973 to 1977.

  3. Added information about learner drivers being able to take motorway driving lessons with an approved driving instructor from 4 June 2018.

  4. Added information about the change to the car driving test on 4 December 2017.

  5. Corrected the name of the first person to pass the driving test from Mr Beene to Mr Beere, and added an image of his pass certificate.

  6. Added computer generated imagery clips replacing video clips in the hazard perception part of the theory test to the timeline.

  7. Added information about the launch of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, the end of foreign language driving tests and the ADI standards check.

  8. Added information about the conclusion of the motorcycle test review and the launch of the modernising driver training consultation in 2013.

  9. Added information about about changes made in 2013

  10. First published.