So we’ve all heard of drink driving and speeding, but what else could you get in trouble for on the road?
Beeping Your Horn
When the roads are gridlocked during rush hour, you can barely move ten metres without hearing someone beep their horn…as if this would magically decongest the traffic. But actually this is an illegal practice when a car is stationary. You’re only allowed to use your horn in emergencies, to prevent an accident, and while in motion. It’s actually illegal to beep at someone between the hours of 11:30pm and 7am, in a residential area.
Swapping CDs, eating food…anything that takes your hands off the wheel can be considered driving dangerously. If you need a cup of coffee, pull-over for your caffeine hit, otherwise you could get nicked.
Dirty Number Plates
Okay, so we’ve all been subject to car graffiti (“Clean Me”) when we haven’t gotten around to cleaning our vehicle. Driving around in a dusty car isn’t illegal, as long as your number plate is clean. If your licence plate is in anyway obscured by dirt however, you could be fined as much as £1,000!
Not Wearing A Seatbelt
Drivers are aware that not wearing their seatbelt is against the law, but what many don’t know is that adults are responsible for anyone under the age of 14 – if they don’t wear their seatbelt, you could be fined £60 on-the-spot or be sent to court. Small children should be placed in a suitable car seat until they are 135cm tall or over the age of 12. Their safety is in your hands.
Over The Limit: Passengers
When you were a child, your parents probably crammed you into the back seat, once or twice, with too many other passengers. Maybe one of the smallest would sit in the foothold, while another would sit on someone’s knee.
Because there’s not enough seatbelts for everyone and there’s more weight in the car than there’s supposed to be, your braking distance will be lengthened considerably, and this could make all the difference between an accident and avoiding a collision. You’ll be faced with penalty points and a fine, if you’re caught.
The Morning After The Night Before
You were at a party last night, and instead of drink driving, you were good and you stayed in whatever accommodation you could find. You’ve woken up with a hangover, but you’re fine, right?
Wrong. Say you finish drinking alcohol at midnight, you could still be over the limit at 4pm, 16 hours later. It’s unfortunate that so many people get caught out by this, as they’ve made an effort to drive safely; they just weren’t aware that the alcohol was still in their system, and the breathalyser will give them away. You’ll be summoned to court, so make sure you get motoring solicitors to mitigate the damage; you may get sympathy for waiting until you were sober to drive, even if you were technically over the limit.
Warning Fellow Motorists
Driving etiquette dictates that you cheekily flash your lights at incoming traffic, if you’ve just escaped a speed-testing zone. However, telling other drivers to slow down can mean you receive a £500 fine!