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Lesser Known Driving Laws

Lesser Known Driving Laws

By Swansway Motor Group 16-03-2018

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As drivers, we all know better than to park on double yellow lines or exceed the speed limit and if we do, we know there’ll be a fine and a few points on our driving licence; but, what about transgressing little know driving laws.

Unlucky 13 lesser known driving laws that could catch you out

From having a dirty car to splashing pedestrians; there are many everyday driving situations that could take pennies out of your pocket and put points on your licence.

Here we look at the unlucky 13 sitautions that could land you in trouble.


You pay for your passengers' littering

If you’re the driver of a car and one of your passengers throws litter out of the window, it’s YOU who’ll be fined and it doesn’t matter if the passenger who litters is an adult or a child.

Cigarette butt on road after being thrown out of a car

There’s now a fixed penalty fine for littering and from April this year the maximum on the spot fine for this will rise to £150. A council only has to prove that the litter was thrown from your vehicle; so, make sure you keep a keen eye on all your passengers and stop them indulging in this anti-social habit.


When slow is too slow

Most of us are very aware of keeping within speed limits, all our focus is put into not exceeding them, but did you know that you can also be fined for proceeding too slowly?

car driving too close to another car

This causes other drivers to become annoyed and can lead to accidents, just as speeding can; tootle along too slowly and you can be pulled over by the Police and in the worst circumstances you could be handed 9 penalty points.


Puddles & pedestrians

There’s a pedestrian on the pavement, there’s a massive puddle in the road and you feel the temptation to give that pedestrian a good old drenching by splashing through the puddle.

Stop, think and don’t do it!

Car making huge splash by driving through a puddle

Not only is not very nice, it could also land you with 3 penalty points and a fine of up to £5,000 if your case ends up in court! That’s because splashing a pedestrian is considered driving without due care or consideration; so, be nice, avoid that puddle and save yourself a potential fine!


Eating at the wheel

It’s a situation many will be familiar with. You’re halfway through a long journey and when you stop at the services for some food you’re asked if you want to eat in or take away. You’re in a hurry, so you take it with you and start eating it as you pull back on to the motorway.

Man eating food whilst driving

While this will save you a few minutes, it could also mean you’re driving without due care and attention – and that can land you with up to nine points as well as severe financial penalties.


Beeping your horn

Road rage is something that should be kept in check for various reasons, and that includes the Highway Code.

Someone pressing the horn in their carIn general, you are only supposed to use your horn to make other drivers aware of your vehicle’s presence. However, regardless of the circumstances, using your horn between 11.30pm and 7am in a built-up area can leave you liable to be fined up to £1,000.


Failure to declare

If you’re taken poorly or diagnosed with an illness, you must check if you need to declare it to the DVLA and you may be surprised some of the conditions which have to be reported. From a heart murmur to a hysterectomy, you need to consult with your doctor and you subsequently you may need to report your condition to the DVLA.

Doctor having a private consultation with a patient

Failure to declare a condition which may affect your driving can result in a fine of up to £1,000 and you’ll be prosecuted if you’re in an accident as a result of your condition.


Be nice not nasty

Let ‘road rage’ get the better of you and you could be in for more than just a telling off. If you shout and swear at another road user or use any of the more ‘interesting’ hand gestures, you’re committing an offence of ‘disorderly behaviour’ and that means a potential fine of up to 75% of your weekly income; so, play nicely!

Driver shakes fist in road rage


No time to sleep

All that focus and concentration when you’re driving can make you very tired, particularly on a long motorway drive, but don’t be tempted to pull up on the hard shoulder for a quick forty winks; that’s a strict no-no and you could wake up to 3 penalty points and a £100 fine.

In sleep mode still; if you’ve been out on the town, had too much to drink and you’re thinking of sleeping it off in your car, then think again! While you’re giving it zzzzzzzzzs you could be earning yourself up to 10 penalty points and a very substantial fine.


McDon't

Pull up at a drive-through McDonalds, KFC or any other fast food outlet and you could fall foul of the new mobile phone driving laws. That’s because if you whip your phone out to pay for your fast food, using one the increasingly popular phone apps, such as ApplePay or Android Auto, you’re risking an equally fast on the spot fine of £200 with up to 6 penalty points.

Stick to cash or contactless and avoid being on the wrong side of the law.


Being helpful can hurt

You’ve just gone through a speed-trap and being a kindly soul you flash your headlights tow warn on-coming motorists. There’s no doubt that, driver to driver, this is meant as a kindly, helpful gesture. Unfortunately the Police see it rather differently and you can be fined for ‘obstructing an officer in his duty’ and the fine can be from £30 to £1,000.

Speed trap by the side of the road


Snow way!

After heavy snowfall you clear all your windows and then drive off in your mobile igloo; as long as your windows are all clear, surely that’s fine? No, because if you’ve left snow on your roof and it moves forward when you brake, sliding down your windscreen and obscuring you vision then you’ve got a problem.

Even more of a problem is that you could be fined £60 and given 3 penalty points and there’s snow way anyone wants that!


Keep it clean

Let dirt build up on your number plate and you’ll find yourself with something a lot worse than someone writing ‘clean me’ in the dirt. If dirt obscures your number-plate making it difficult or impossible to read, it’s a £100 fine; so get your chamois out quick!

Extremely dirty car with writing in the dirt


And finally...

The bane of all motorists, ‘the middle-lane hogger’; we all experience this on a daily basis, yet strangely no-one ever owns up to being one themselves!

Motorway traffic

This very irritating driving behaviour is in contravention of the Highway Code Rule 264 and it does fall under ‘careless driving’ and could be penalised with a £00 on the spot fine and 3 penalty points.

In reality this most frustrating driving issue is hard for police to catch, and thus, more often than not, goes unpunished.


Always take care on the roads, drive safely and think of other motorists and pedestrians.

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