Warning: You could be fined up to £1,000 if caught doing so!
It’s nice when motorists help each other out whilst on the road, such as flashing our car headlights to warn of a speed trap ahead but did you know that doing so could land you in trouble.
In the UK, any driver caught using their headlights to warn other road users of a police speed trap ahead or speed cameras, could be fined up to £1,000!
According to the Highway Code, rule 110 states: “Flashing headlights. Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users.”
Breaching Rule 110 and 111 of the Highway Code, which states the rules regarding motorists flashing their headlights, could land you in trouble with the law and see you end up in court claims the Department of Transport, as the evidence could stand up in a court of law.
And whilst the evidence on its own might not lead to a conviction, if a driver was found to be using their headlights to warn another motorist of a speed trap ahead then this could be seen as a breach of another road law.
According to Section 89(2) of the Police Act 1996, it states what can happen if a motorist ‘obstructs’ an officer: “Any person who resists or wilfully obstructs a constable in the execution of his duty, or a person assisting a constable in the execution of his duty, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month or to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale, or to both.”
This means that potentially any motorist caught warning another driver of a speed trap ahead could be obstructing an officer and therefore be punished for doing so.
Back in 2011, one case, in particular, showed just how serious an offence it can be. A gentleman was pulled over in Lincolnshire by the police after being spotted flashing a number of oncoming cars to warn them of a speed gun up ahead.
The gentleman was charged with wilfully obstructing a police officer in the course of her duties and was found guilty. The punishment was a £175 fine, £250 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
For obstructing a police officer drivers can receive a maximum penalty of £1,000 as this type of offence is capped at level three on the fine scale.
So next time you consider helping out a fellow driver, think seriously about what could happen if you’re spotted by the police and ask yourself is it really worth a fine!
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