The book had a semi-official sanction, being published with funds from the National Safety First Association. Scarier safety propaganda was regarded as rather shouty and unEnglish, the kind of in-your-face activity with which the Nazis, who pioneered the national road safety campaign, were associated. Propaganda that focused on the potential for accidents, advised one psychologist, would ‘only produce a dangerous fear in the nervous and timid and would be no deterrent to the exhibitionist’. You Have Been Warned called the new Highway Code ‘the Road-User’s Statute of Liberty and Magna Carta of the Road’.
For a book published nearly 80 years ago, the humour stands up very well – as well, I would say, as another humour classic from the 1930s: Sellar and Yeatman’s 1066 and All That.