Right Driver

Road Works: What are the rules?

As we have a million pot holes in the UK, there are always road works going on somewhere on at least a minor scale. Unfortunately, despite 150 years of paving roads we haven’t figured out a more durable way, so they will continue to feature in our driving life.

When the ‘Road Works Ahead’ sign is displayed, you will need to be more watchful and look for additional signs providing more specific instructions. Observe all signs – they are there for your safety and the safety of road workers.

  • You MUST NOT exceed any temporary maximum speed limit.
  • Use your mirrors and get into the correct lane for your vehicle in good time and as signs direct.
  • Do not switch lanes to overtake queuing traffic.
  • Take extra care near cyclists and motorcyclists as they are vulnerable to skidding on grit, mud or other debris at road works.
  • Where lanes are restricted due to road works, merge in turn (i.e merge like a zip)
  • Do not drive through an area marked off by traffic cones.
  • Watch out for traffic entering or leaving the works area, but do not be distracted by what is going on there. Concentrate on the road ahead, not the road works.
  • Bear in mind that the road ahead may be obstructed by the works or by slow moving or stationary traffic.
  • Keep a safe distance – there could be queues in front.

You can reduce your impact on the road by taking the smoothest line around corners and braking gently. For your vehicle to change direction it has to use the friction between the tyres and the road surface to alter the trajectory of over a ton of steel. This puts an equal and opposite force onto the tarmac. The same applies with braking: heavy braking puts a lot of stress on the tarmac. Read this article about driving smoothly.

Darren has owned several companies in the automotive, advertising and education industries. He has run driving theory educational websites since 2010.

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Posted in Advice, Car, Heavy Vehicle, Highway Code, Motorbike, Passenger Vehicle
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