BY Section 45 of the Road Traffic Act, 1930, the Minister of Transport is directed to prepare a code of directions for the guidance of road users, to be known as "The Highway Code."
During the passage of the Act through Parliament, the opinion was expressed almost universally that, although legislation and regulations more appropriate than those then in force might help to reduce the dangers of the road, much more could be done to ensure safety by the instruction and education of all road users as to their duties and obligations to one another and to the community as a whole.
It is hoped that the code of conduct now issued in accordance with the direction contained in the Act may come to be universally respected and obeyed. The Act provides that a failure to observe any provision of the code shall not of itself be an offence, but that in any proceedings whether civil or criminal, including any proceedings for an offence under the Act itself, any such failure may be relied upon as tending to establish or negative any liability which is in question.
Under the Acts and Regulations governing the use of the highways certain actions are deﬁnitely forbidden as being offences. "The Highway Code" is intended as a supplementary guide to the proper use of the highway, and as a code of good manners to be observed by all courteous and considerate persons. It in no way supplants these deﬁnite rules or relieves anyone from the necessity of strictly observing them.
If the code is to serve its purpose, every user of the road should study it as a whole, and not merely read the particular sections which have a special interest for him. For example, the rule of the road for all traffic is stated on the second page of the code, and is not repeated in each section.