The new code is 50% bigger than the previous one and contains additional direction on new legislation relating to vehicle emissions and smoking in company vehicles.
A new section advises motorists not to smoke while driving, while also pointing out the danger of distraction from in-vehicle technology such as satellite-navigation systems.
Among other additions to the code is advice to help newly qualified drivers get through the first 12 months after passing the driving test safely, details on new road initiatives such as high-occupancy vehicle lanes, home zones and quiet lanes and new stopping/directing powers given to VOSA officers and highways agency traffic officers.
The wording of the new guide, available free from www.direct.gov.uk, was agreed after 26,963 comments on the previous version were considered and evaluated.
Not everyone has welcomed aspects of the new code. Paul Smith, founder of SafeSpeed.org.uk, said: “There’s no evidence that smoking is a significant factor in crashes.
“I’m sick and tired of knee-jerk road safety policies based on pet theories rather than scientific evidence.”