But Should To Avoid Possible Fines & Penalty Points!
When it comes to driving in the UK, there’s a lot of rules that motorists have to be aware of and follow to keep out of trouble but of course, it’s not always that easy to remember everything.
The Highway Code includes more than 300 rules that road users need to know and should know, with new ones being added constantly, so it’s no wonder that some of them slip from our memory over the years, whilst there might be a few that you’ve never even heard of and didn’t know existed!
Most drivers know the obvious ones such as having to stop at traffic lights when they’re on red or that you must give way to vehicles coming from the right on a roundabout but there’s plenty of rules in the Highway Code that even the most experienced of drivers might not be aware of or have forgotten exist after driving for so long.
To refresh your memory or perhaps alert you to some of the more obscure rules of the road here in the UK, we’ve complied a list showing 10 driving laws you might now know about but really should to avoid being fined and given penalty points on your driving licence – some of which might surprise you!
10 UK Driving Laws You Might Not Know About… But Should!
1. Snow On The Roof
Whilst there’s no law stating it’s illegal to drive with snow on the roof of your vehicle, you could be penalised for ‘driving without due care and attention’ or for ‘using a motor vehicle in a dangerous condition’.
If any snow flew off and landed on your windscreen or headed in the direction of another vehicle on the road, this could prevent you or another driver from being able to see the road ahead properly and could be dangerous, so it’s always wise to clear any signs of snow or ice from your vehicle before setting off.
2. Splashing Pedestrians With Puddles
If you drive through a puddle and deliberately splash a pedestrian, you could be fined £150 and given three penalty points. It is an illegal offence to splash a pedestrian and if caught, you could be prosecuted under Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act for careless, aggressive or inconsiderate behaviour on the road.
A conviction could also increase the cost of your insurance premium too!
3. Driving Too Slowly
We all know that driving too fast is dangerous and against the law but did you know that driving too slowly is also dangerous and could land you in trouble?
Driving too slowly or braking without good reason can be classed as ‘inconsiderate driving’. It could be seen that you are a hazard to other road users and whilst there’s no specific penalty for driving too slowly, you could be given a warning by the police or if the offence is deemed more serious, you could find yourself in court and charged for ‘driving without due care and attention’ – this could result in a fine and penalty points.
4. Eating & Drinking Behind The Wheel
Rule 148 of the Highway Code states, ‘Safe driving and riding needs concentration. Avoid distractions when driving or riding such as eating and drinking’.
So, whilst there’s no exact law stopping you from doing it, you could be prosecuted for ‘dangerous or careless driving’ if the police decide you are not in proper control of your vehicle. This could result in a £100 on-the-spot fine and three penalty points.
5. Sat Nav System Placement
According to the Highway Code, ‘windscreens and windows must be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision’.
Therefore, where do you position your sat nav in order to avoid any kind of obstruction to your field of vision? You should place it on the dashboard if this is possible, as it’s probably the safest position but if not, the best place to put it is low down on the right hand side at the very bottom of the window – this allows for a clear view with no obstruction.
6. Sleeping In Your Car When Drunk
If you find yourself too drunk to drive home, don’t be tempted to sleep in your car, as this could land you in trouble with the law.
If the police find you sleeping in your car whilst over the legal alcohol limit, you could be issued with a fine and given 10 penalty points but why if all you was doing is sleeping?
You’ll be asked which seat you was in when found by the police and where were the car keys if the case goes to court. However, whatever your answers may be, according to section 4 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, you could be charged with being “drunk in charge of a motor vehicle” and that’s because one question arises, ‘how did the vehicle get there?’
7. Listening To Loud Music
Most drivers love listening to music whilst in the car but did you know that having the volume too high could get you in trouble?
Once again, according to Rule 148 of the Highway Code, ‘Safe driving and riding needs concentration. Avoid distractions when driving or riding such as loud music (this may mask other sounds)’.
If you drive with the windows down and the music booming from your vehicle, you could be handed a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for this offence and issued with a £100 fine, as it’s described as anti-social behaviour.
8. Driving With Unrestrained Pets
We love our pets here in the UK and our furry friends enjoy nothing more than jumping in the car and going for a ride with their beloved owners. But did you know that not having them properly restrained in your vehicle could lead to a huge fine and points?
The Highway Code states: ‘When in a vehicle, make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.’
Whilst breaking this rule doesn’t carry a direct penalty, you could still be pulled over by the police for ‘driving without due care and attention’.
This can result in a fine and penalty points. Also, if an unstrained pet turns out to be the cause of an accident you’re involved in, your insurers may not pay out.
9. Parking On The Pavement
In London, Rule 244 of the Highway Code states that drivers ‘MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it.’
However, in the rest of the UK, whilst it may not be a specific rule, you should avoid parking on the pavement where possible as it could still land you in trouble with the police, especially if they believe you’re parked in a dangerous position or you’re causing an unnecessary obstruction of the road – you could receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).
10. Dirty Number Plates
Having dirty number plates could get you into trouble with the law, as they should be clear and visible at all times so that the police can identify the vehicle. To avoid a hefty fine of up to £1,000, you should keep your number plates free from dirt.
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