Best Seller 80 this week

Posted on April 13th, 2011 by David Williams MBE

Best Seller 80 this week
mikeyashworth – flickr

One of the nation’s bestselling books of all time is celebrating its 80th year of publication this week.

Millions of copies of The Highway Code have been purchased since it was first published on 14th April 1931. 

Regrettably, although it is a best seller The Highway Code is not widely read other than for a few weeks by those about to take their driving test.  Even though it is regularly revised and updated, few qualified motorists take the trouble to refer to it.

The 1930’s are also a very notable decade as many other important road safety innovations were announced.  Just a few of them are:

1930    Minimum age for driving set as 17

1931    First Highway Code published

1932    The Company of Veteran Motorists (now GEM Motoring Assist) was formed

1934    The Belisha Beacon was first used on pedestrian crossings.  Named after the then Minister of Transport Leslie Hore-Belisha the flashing yellow globe later became a regular feature on thousands or roads throughout the country.

1934    Reflective road studs (invented by Mr Percy Show of Halifax) known as ‘Cat’s Eyes’ were first used.

1935    30MPH became the speed limit in urban areas

1937    Safety glass in windscreens was made compulsory

The horrific death toll on the roads at the time (over 6,600 people died in road crashes in 1932) brought many of these innovations into being and GEM Motoring Assist has been very proud to play its part in the success of reducing the number of road casualties over the past 80 years.

Test your knowledge with the GEM Motoring Assist Road Sign Test sheet.