It’s fair to say that most of us know and abide by the laws when on the road. But when drivers do slip up, they are usually for the most common offences – speeding, running a red stoplight or driving with no insurance.
However, there may be other times when you see the flashing blue lights in your rear view mirror for evermore-obscure reasons. So, to help keep you and your car out of the impound, here are just some of the driving offences you may not have even known were illegal.
1. Flashing Your Headlights
Now this is a tricky one, as it depends on the type of situation. According to the Highway Code, a driver may flash their headlights to let other drivers know that they are there. Meaning that if you are flashing to let someone go or to say thank you, it is technically against the law.
2. Unnecessary sounding of the horn
Similar to the point made above, you should use your horn in the correct manner to avoid a potential £30 fine. According to the Highway Code, your horn should only be used to alert other drivers of your presence and it should definitely not be used when the car is stationary.
3. Dirty number plates
You need to be keeping your number plates clean and thoroughly visible at all times, otherwise you could be liable to pay a hefty £1000 fine. You may not want to do it, but by giving them a wipe now and again, you will be saving yourself money and precious driving points at the same time.
4. Splashing pedestrians with puddles
As obscure as this one sounds, it’s a genuine offence. Not only will you be getting your pedestrians very angry to go along with their soaked clothes, but also you will be receiving a £5000 maximum fine and up to 9 points on your licence.
5. Paying with your phone at a drive-thru
As great as technology can be, it also provides us drivers with yet another distraction to add to the list. As you probably know, mobile phones can now be used for contactless payments – even at your favourite fast food drive-thru restaurants. However, it’s best to keep your phone in your pocket at the order point as you can now be fined (and get 6 points) for using your phone whilst in charge of your vehicle. Contactless may be making our lives easier, but sometimes you just have to play it safe by paying with more traditional means.
6. Driving too slowly
Despite there not actually being a minimum speed to drive to, slow driving or unnecessary braking can be classified as ‘inconsiderate driving’ as it creates a risk of danger to other users of the road. The repercussions range from a verbal warning to 9 points stacked on your licence.
7. Failure to renew your photo card licence
This is another one that people seem to be mostly unaware of. As similar to your passport, your photo card licence does indeed have an expiry date and this needs to be renewed every ten years. If you fail to do this, you could find yourself having to fork out up to £1000.
8. Throwing things out of the window
This one should be a given. As unsightly as it is, this unfortunate reality is quite common, as some drivers – or passengers – feel the need to throw their litter out of their vehicle. If they get caught in the act, the driver of the vehicle could be liable to pay a well-deserved £75 fine.
A driver’s attention should always be on the road, despite the distractions surrounding them. Whether you are drinking, eating, applying make-up, changing the radio station or anything else behind the wheel, you could be pulled over and charged for carelessness or dangerous driving. If you find yourself needing to do any of these things when you’re in control of your vehicle, the best advice is to find a safe space to pull over and do so then.
10. Child car seats
It’s the driver’s responsibility to ensure that children are correctly and lawfully seated. Children must use a child car seat if they are under the age of 12 – or 135cm tall, whichever comes first. Children over these requirements must wear a seat belt whilst in a vehicle.
So there we have it, ten of the lesser-known motoring offences that are hopefully now not as lesser known. We understand that losing your driving licence can have severe implications on your life, which is why finding the right lawyer can be crucial to getting you back on the road.
If you need expert advice on driving offences from a motoring law solicitor in Leeds and offences, contact one of our team today.