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Road Safety 


Driving is an every day activity for many in the population. It is not without its risks however and this section provides advice and guidance for being a safe and responsible driver.
  • To start driving

    • Learners driving a car must hold a valid provisional licence
    • They must be supervised by someone at least 21 years old who holds European Community/European Economic Area licence for that type of car (manual or automatic) and has held a licence for at least 3 years
    • Any vehicle driven by a learner driver must display red L plates
    • L-plates must conform to the legal requirements and must be clearly visible to others from the front and rear of the vehicle
    • L-plates must be removed or covered up when the vehicle is not being driven by a learner driver
    • You must pass the theory test and then a practical test for the category of vehicle you wish to drive before being able to drive unaccompanied
  • Every year, motorcycle accidents in the United Kingdom result in over 20,000 riders being injured. This highlights the importance of motorcycle safety.

    Motorcycle licence requirements
    If you have a provisional motorcycle licence, you must complete and pass a compulsory basic training course. You can ride on public roads, with 'L' plates, for up to 2 years. To obtain your full motorcycle licence you must pass a motorcycle theory test and then a practical test.

    If you have a full car licence you may ride motorcycles up to 125cc and 11kW power output, with 'L' plates on public roads, but you must first complete a compulsory basic training course.

    You must not carry a pillion or ride on motorways until you have obtained your full motorcycle licence.

    General rules when motorcycling

    • The rider and the pillion passenger on a motorcycle, scooter or moped must wear a protective helmet. Helmets must comply with regulations. It is advisable to wear eye and ear protectors. Also ensure that you wear strong boots, gloves and suitable clothing which will protect you if there's an accident
    • You must never carry more than one pillion passenger and he or she must sit astride the vehicle on a proper seat and keep both feet on footrests
    • When riding at night, make yourself visible to other vehicles. It is important to remember that you have to be seen from the side as well as the back and the front. Wear a light coloured helmet and fluorescent clothing
  • Road accidents are the biggest cause of accidental death and serious injury. Although experienced drivers have less accidents than inexperienced drivers, it is important for all road users to stay aware of the dangers that exist while driving.

    Here are a few points to remember to reduce the risk of an accident:

    • Visit your optician for regular eye checks
    • Keep the windscreen clean to reduce the effect of glare
    • Plan your journey leaving more time
    • Never drive more than 2 hours without a break
    • To relieve sleepiness, let fresh air into the vehicle, listen to the radio, or talk even if it is to yourself!
    • Do not start your journey when tired or unwell
    • Avoid alcohol when driving
    • Find out how medicines (prescribed or not prescribed) affect driving
    • Leave a big enough gap in front of you - 'only a fool breaks the 2 second rule'
    • Read the latest Highway Code - signs and laws change
    • Consider taking advanced driving tuition

    By law, all drivers are required to inform the DVLA about any illness or disability that may affect their ability to drive, either now or because of a worsening condition in the future.

  • The law


    • Front seat: Seat belt must be worn if available
    • Rear seat: Not applicable
    • Who is responsible: Driver

    Children up to 3 years

    • Front seat: Correct child restraint must be used
    • Rear seat: Correct child restraint must be used (If one is not available in a taxi, may travel unrestrained)
    • Who is responsible: Driver

    Child from the 3rd birthday up to 1.35 metres in height (approximately 4ft 5ins) (or 12th birthday - whichever they reach first)

    • Front seat: Correct child restraint must be used
    • Rear seat: Where seat belts fitted, correct child restraint must be used. Must use adult belt if the correct child restraint is not available:
      • In a licensed taxi/private hire vehicle
      • For a short distance for reason of unexpected necessity; or
      • 2 occupied child restraints prevent fitment of a 3rd
    • A child 3 and over may travel unrestrained in the rear seat of a vehicle if seat belts are not available
    • Who is responsible: Driver

    Child over 1.35 metres (approximately 4ft 5ins in height) or 12 or 13 years

    • Front seat: Adult seat belt must be worn if available
    • Rear seat: Adult seat belt must be worn if available
    • Who is responsible: Driver

    Adult passengers (14 years and over)

    • Front seat: Seat belt must be worn if available
    • Rear seat: Seat belt must be worn if available
    • Who is responsible: Passenger

    When using a seat belt remember:

    • Lap and diagonal belts provide more protection and should be used before lap only belts
    • Never use the same seat belt around yourself and another passenger (adult or child)
    • Adjust the seat belt properly. Place the lap belt as low as possible over the hips - not over the abdomen. Ensure the shoulder belt lies on the chest and over the shoulder. Do not leave any slack

    Seat belt safety for pregnant women

    • Wear lap part of the belt below the abdomen
    • Wear shoulder belt across chest

    Child Restraints - New Law

  • Department for Transport
    Information on road safety.

    GOV.UK motoring
    Information on motoring, including road safety.

    Highways Agency
    For information on road works and weather conditions.

    Met Office
    Useful information for drivers on weather conditions.


Road Safety Team

Roycraft House

15 Linton Road


IG11 8HE


Phone: 020 8215 3005

Email: 3000direct@lbbd.gov.uk