Everyone knows that using a mobile whilst driving, drink-driving, and tailgating are illegal. However, there are numerous lesser-known offences which many might see as being in a grey area. These are, in fact, contrary to the law.
Many might surprise you and could result in penalties or even a court appearance. Curious? Here’s our updated list:
- Mobile Phones as Sat Navs:
If you’re using your mobile as a sat nav and it’s not affixed to your windscreen or dashboard, it’s illegal. Ensure it’s within easy view and hands-free. Failing this can now result in a penalty of eight points and a £300 fine. For drivers with a licence less than two years, this could also mean a ban.
- Flashing Lights to Give Way:
Whilst common, flashing your headlights to let someone go ahead isn’t lawful. Headlights should only signal your presence. Misuse can incur a fine of up to £50.
- Eating or Drinking:
While not outright illegal, if these actions detract from your control of the vehicle, you risk a £150 fine and up to six penalty points.
- Splashing Pedestrians:
Deliberately or carelessly splashing a pedestrian may result in a fine ranging from £150 up to £5,500.
- Mobile Payments at Drive-Thrus:
It remains illegal to pay with your mobile at a drive-thru without turning off the engine and engaging the handbrake, risking a £1,500 fine or six penalty points.
- Middle Lane Hogging:
Lingering in the motorway’s middle lane without cause is still seen as ‘careless driving’, punishable by three points and a £150 fine.
- Obscured Number Plates:
Ensure your number plate is legible; otherwise, fines can reach up to £1,000.
- Pets on the Hard Shoulder:
If broken down, pets must remain in the vehicle unless it’s an emergency. Violation can incur driving offence charges.
- Horn Usage:
Use your horn only to alert others to your presence, or risk a £50 fine.
- Intoxicated Car Resting:
Avoid sleeping in your car while intoxicated. It’s legally risky, with potential penalties including ten points and significant fines.
- Clear Windscreens:
Driving with obscured windows? Not only unsafe, it’s illegal.
Overtaking on the inside, or undertaking, remains hazardous and potentially court-worthy.
- Prescription Drugs:
Road-side drug tests still include various legal medications. Always check your prescriptions and their effects on your driving ability.
- Parking on Single Yellow Lines:
Drivers should remain in the vehicle on single yellow lines unless dropping off or picking up passengers.
- Smoking with Minors:
It’s unlawful to smoke in a vehicle with anyone under 18 present.
- Driving Too Slowly:
Surprisingly, very slow driving can also lead to penalties if it endangers other motorists, including hefty fines and up to nine points.
- Idling Engines:
Rule 123 of the Highway Code still prohibits unnecessary engine idling on public roads.
- Littering from the Car:
Tossing anything out, even biodegradables, remains a no-no.
- Mobile Phone Use:
Simply put, don’t use your mobile while driving or with the engine on.
- Leaving a Child Unattended:
It’s still risky to leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even for quick errands. Use your judgment and always consider their safety.
Remember, while some of these might seem minor, they’re in place for safety reasons. Always strive for not only legal but safe and courteous driving. Safe travels!