Are you Aware of the Unusual UK Driving Laws?
We're all aware of the basic rules of the road, but there a few slightly strange ones which you may not know exist, and may be breaking too! Below, we talk about a handful of weird UK driving laws and what penalties you could face if you offend them, below.
1. Driving Too Slowly
Driving your vehicle too slowly can make other motorists very agitated, so police offers may pull you over for ‘careless driving’. Depending on circumstances, this offence could land you with a simple verbal warning or up to 9 penalty points!
2. Splashing a Pedestrian
Under the Road Traffic Act, you can be fined up to £5,000 and 3 points for careless, aggressive and inconsiderate driving if you splash a pedestrian. According to data collected by Plymouth Herald, 1 in 5 people have admitted to breaking this law in the last 12 months!
3. Being in your Vehicle Whilst Intoxicated
Most people may assume that you can only get prosecuted for driving whilst intoxicated, but that’s where you’d be mistaken… You can receive a minimum of 10 penalty points and may receive a large fine too just for sitting or napping in your vehicle when intoxicated.
4. Flashing your Headlights to Warn Other Motorists
You may think that your being courteous to other drivers when you warn them of a speed camera ahead, but you could be landing yourself a fine of up to £1,000 for obstructing an officer’s duty.
5. Dirty Number Plates
Been driving through dirt-tracks or muddy lanes lately? Then don’t forget to check that your number plate isn’t obscured by dirt or any other debris, as this can land you an on the spot fine of £100 with a maximum penalty of £1,000. This offence can even make you fail your MOT, so make sure you take care in your vehicles appearance!
6. Failing to Clear Snow from your Roof
When winter comes back around (and we’re lucky enough to get some snow) you must remove all the snow from the roof of your vehicle. Why? Because it can obscure your view by sliding off onto the windscreen! Failure to do so could come with a fine of £60 and three penalty points under section 229 of the Highway Code.
7. No Lights in the Dark
You may wonder why there is even a law against not using lights when driving in the dark, because it’s common sense, right? Well, if you forget to do so, this can cost you a £50 fine. Lots of modern vehicles use automatic day running lights, so it’s easy to confuse them with actual headlights in the dark – so don’t forget to check!
8. Paying with Your Phone at Drive-Throughs
Apple Pay and Android Auto is becoming more and more popular for its convenience, so it’s easy to see why people would want to use it to pay for fast food in drive-throughs instead of fishing around for loose change. However, under the latest mobile phone laws in place, it is an offence to do so and could mean you face an on the spot fine of £200 and up to six penalty points. The fine could even be increased to £1,000 if the case goes to court. So, try to get your wallet out in preparation, or pop into the restaurant instead.
9. Hogging the Middle Lane
The biggest bearer of them all – middle lane hogging! You may think that by staying in the middle lane you’re saving yourself from having to overtake vehicles in the slow lane further down the road, but in fact it just causes a lot more hassle for other drivers to overtake you and can be quite dangerous. Offenders can receive a £100 fine and three penalty points.
10. Beeping Unnecessarily
Beeping when motorists are irritating or bad drivers is something many people may be guilty of. Unless your beeping to alert traffic of your presence though, it is not allowed. If your caught to be beeping in stationary traffic, you can receive a fine of up to £1,000.
11. Pavement Parking
Finding space to park your vehicle can be very difficult, especially if you’re driving a large van or commercial vehicle, so there’s no wonder why you sometimes need to park on the pavement. If you do this in London however, you can be fined £70, which could be soon be a national law!
So, next time you're out and about driving, don't forget about these particular driving laws - it could save you thousands of pounds!
NOTE - these particulars are merely a guide and drivers should seek confirmation of driving laws from an official source.
Date added: 1st March 2019