DVSA issue urgent warning about fake driving laws

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The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is taking action against unscrupulous retailers selling fake Highway Code books on popular retail websites. The books are said to be almost identical to the official Highway Code, but contain incorrect road safety information.

Unwitting learners and motorists buying these books online could fail a theory test, practical test or even commit an offence on the road.

The DVSA is urging drivers to check certain things which will prove whether they have an official version of the Highway Code.

They should compare the bar code numbers as the official copy has an ISBN number above its barcode.

On the fake version, the logos on the front cover of the book are usually pixelated.

The official version of the Highway Code has a matte cover, with the fake version having a glossy cover.

If anyone believes they have been sold a counterfeit copy, they should contact their local trading standards office or contact DVSA.

Mark Winn, DVSA’s chief driving examiner, said: “The misinformation in the fake version of the Highway Code is alarming. 

“It puts road users at risk of breaking the law or, even worse, having an accident. 

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“As well as this, the incorrect information could cause learners to fail both theory and practical tests. 

“These fakes also damage the public’s trust in the Highway Code, which is concerning given the book’s vital role in keeping everyone safe on Britain’s roads. 

“DVSA takes these matters extremely seriously and is taking action against the illegal sellers.”

The selling of counterfeit books containing unlicensed intellectual property breaks copyright laws.

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Drivers can check whether the information in their copy of the Highway Code is correct by comparing the version against the online version at GOV.UK.

The online version is always up-to-date and free to access, with frequent updates of the most recent driving laws.

The Highway Code saw major upgrades in January when a host of new rules were added to protect all road users from harm.

David Burgess, intellectual property manager in publishing at the DVSA, warned motorists of purchasing fake copies.

He added: “We take this kind of behaviour very seriously and are working hard, with our official publisher The Stationery Office, to fully investigate it in the interests of customers across Great Britain.”

The DVSA is keen to point out that well known retail websites host many sellers, and that consumers need to ensure the sellers are reputable. 

Consumers should also consider buying physical copies of The Highway Code from local, trusted bookshops.

To ensure you are buying an official copy of The Highway Code, you can purchase a copy from our official publishers, The Stationery Office (TSO).

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