The changes to the Highway Code that most people don't know

Cars approach the Thickthorn roundabout. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

61pc of drivers haven't read the new Highway Code changes yet - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A new survey has revealed more than three-fifths of drivers haven't read the new Highway Code changes which came into force earlier this year.

According to an AA poll, which took data from 13,300 motorists, about 61pc of respondents said they had not read updates aimed at helping vulnerable road users, which were made in January.

Nine sections of the Highway Code, which contains advice and rules for people on Britain's roads, were updated in January with 50 rules added or changed.

The new guidance means traffic should give way when pedestrians are crossing or waiting to cross at junctions.

Cyclists are advised to ride in the centre of lanes on quieter roads, in slower-moving traffic and when approaching junctions.

A11 in Norfolk queues

Nine sections of the Highway Code were updated in January with 50 rules added or changed - Credit: Mike Page

A hierarchy of road users was also introduced, meaning someone driving has more responsibility to watch out for people cycling, walking or riding a horse, and cyclists have more responsibility to be aware of pedestrians.

The changes were advisory, so non-compliance does not automatically result in a fine.

More than half (52pc) of those questioned by the AA had heard about the new rules but not studied them.

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A total of 10pc of drivers aged 18-54 were completely unaware of the updates, compared with 5pc of those aged 55 and above.

When asked to identify five correct statements included in the updated Highway Code from a list of 10, the majority of respondents did so correctly.

Tim Rankin, managing director of AA Accident Assist, said: “For many the updated Highway Code formalises safe and sensible roadcraft, however we are concerned that so many still haven’t read the rules.

“While we are pleased that many of the changes can be successfully recalled, we’d like more drivers to know the rules outright so they can keep themselves and others safe.

“It is in everyone’s interest to take every measure that helps avoid collisions and remove confusion from the road, so we urge those that still haven’t read the updated Code to do so as soon as possible.”

A communications drive was launched by the Department for Transport’s road safety offshoot Think! in mid-February.