Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency Officers have powers to stop vehicles on all roads, including motorways and trunk roads, in England and Wales. They will attract your attention by flashing amber lights
- either from the front requesting you to follow them to a safe place to stop
- or from behind directing you to pull over to the side by pointing and/or using the left indicator.
It is an offence not to comply with their directions. You MUST obey any signals given (see ‘Signals by authorised persons’).
Laws RTA 1988, sect 67, & PRA 2002, sect 41 & sched 5(8)
Highways Agency Traffic Officers have powers to stop vehicles on most motorways and some ‘A’ class roads, in England only. If HA traffic officers in uniform want to stop your vehicle on safety grounds (e.g. an insecure load) they will, where possible, attract your attention by
- flashing amber lights, usually from behind
- directing you to pull over to the side by pointing and/or using the left indicator.
You MUST then pull over and stop as soon as it is safe to do so. Then switch off your engine. It is an offence not to comply with their directions (see ‘Signals by authorised persons’).
Law RTA1988, sects 35 &163 as amended by TMA 2004, sect 6
Traffic light signals and traffic signs. You MUST obey all traffic light signals (see ‘Light signals controlling traffic’) and traffic signs giving orders, including temporary signals & signs (see ‘Traffic signs’). Make sure you know, understand and act on all other traffic and information signs and road markings (see ‘Road markings’) andVehicle markings’).
Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10, 15, 16, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 36, 38 & 40
Flashing headlights. Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users.
Never assume that flashing headlights is a signal inviting you to proceed. Use your own judgement and proceed carefully.
The horn. Use only while your vehicle is moving and you need to warn other road users of your presence. Never sound your horn aggressively. You MUST NOT use your horn
- while stationary on the road
- when driving in a built-up area between the hours of 11.30 pm and 7.00 am
except when another road user poses a danger.
Law CUR reg 99
Darren has owned several companies in the automotive, advertising and education industries. He has run driving theory educational websites since 2010.