Road rules and signage in England

by Stripes Europe
Stripes Europe

Look right first!
In the U.K. you must drive on the left, so here are some additional safety tips: always look right first, then left, then right again! And, don’t turn left on red! The only time that is allowed is when there is a green filter arrow. Need a little more practice after getting your license? Take a driving course to gain confidence.

Hey, lead foot
The countries of the U.K. (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) are the only countries in Europe that measure vehicle speed in miles per hour. Off base, the speed limit is 70 mph on motorways and dual carriageways (major
highways), and 60 mph on single carriageways (two-lane highways). The speed limit is 30 mph where there are street lights unless marked otherwise. Adjust speeds to the driving conditions; many roads are narrow without shoulders and guard rails, and some have ditches that can be as deep as 35 feet. Drive safely and maintain the speed limits whether posted or not.

Roundabouts & “giving way”
Roundabouts are traffic circles that keep the flow of traffic moving in a clockwise direction. “Give way” means to yield, so give way to the traffic in the roundabout, and the traffic on your right. You risk getting rear-ended if you come to a full stop. Lane markings or signs display exits and road names. Knowing which exit you need to take will help you to et in the appropriate lane ahead of time. Always use your blinker to indicate your exit.

Mini-roundabouts are actually double roundabouts, so treat each one separately. Drive around it, not over it, and look to the right and give way to traffic on the right. There may be less space and time to maneuver and signal. The same applies for multiple roundabouts; always treat each one separately. Instead of stop signs, many intersections are marked with “give way” signs; slow down and give way to traffic already on the road and to your right.

Car seat safety
The U.K. follows the i-Size regulation concurrent with ECE R44/04 and requires EU-approved safety seats marked with an “E” inside a circle. Visit to ensure you select compliant car seats.

Horns & fog lights
Blowing the horn when it’s not an emergency or using fog lights when it’s nice and clear are both no-nos. Do either one and you could face getting a fine. You must not use your horn between the hours of 11:30 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. unless there is danger.

Parking lots and car parks have “pay and display” machines located along the street or in the lot. At the machine, deposit money for the time needed, and visibly display the ticket receipt on the dash. Besides “no parking” signs, here are some street markings to note that indicate parking restrictions:

Double yellow lines, White Zigzag lines, RED LINES: No waiting, parking or stopping (red).

Single yellow lines: No parking or waiting from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Check signs.

Dashed yellow lines: Check signs for time restrictions or direction to pay and display.

For more information on the rules of the road, complete charts of the road signs and roadway markings, please visit The Highway Code UK

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