12 Driving Offences You Didn’t Realise Were Illegal
by Sarah Lomas
Some driving offences are obvious…we all know that driving over the speed limit and parking on double yellows is a big no-no. But there are other driving laws that aren’t so obvious and you’ve probably committed them without realising numerous times!
Here are 12 ways ways that you’ve probably broken the law when driving.
Flashing your lights to give way
You’re only supposed to use your lights to warn other drivers of your presence. If you flash your lights for any other reason and there’s an incident as a result of this, then it would be considered a driving offence.
Using your phone as a sat-nav
A fairly recent change, but you are not allowed to use the sat-nav option on your phone unless it is fixed to the windscreen or dashboard. If you are caught breaching this law you will now receive a £200 fine and six points on your licence.
Overtaking on a pedestrian crossing
If you approach a pedestrian crossing and there is already a car there, it is illegal to then overtake them when the lights change to green. This is because their vehicle maybe concealing a pedestrian already on the crossing.
Driving on the pavement unless you’re turning into a driveway
This is probably one of the most common unknown driving offences. Unless a road sign permits it, the Highway Code states that you must not park fully or partly on the pavement. And in London is illegal, full stop.
Parking within 10 metres of a junction
Since you are causing a hazard to other road users, parking too close to a junction is considered a driving offence. This is because those approaching the junction have to drive around the car and those turning may not be able to see other cars concealed by the parked car.
Sleeping while drunk in your car
Never consider sleeping in your car when you’re over the drink drive limit. You could be prosecute for a drunk in charge fine, as although you are asleep, it doesn’t technically mean you are not in charge of the vehicle.
Failing to clear snow from your roof
Snow and ice can obscure a driver’s view or fall off and obstruct other road users. If you don’t clear snow from your car’s roof, you could end up with a fine and penalty points on your licence.
Using your horn between 11.30pm and 7am in a built up area
Although taxi drivers do it all the time, it’s actually illegal to beep your horn during these hours. Although the police are unlikely to charge you, it is still considered a driving offence.
Driving too slowly
This would be seen as “careless driving” and could result in anything from a verbal warning to points on your licence. Police may pull you over if you are going considerably under the speed limit; this is because it can anger other drivers on the road.
Letting animals out of the car while broken-down on the hard shoulder
If you break down on the motorway, the Highway Code states that any animals must be left inside the broken down vehicle on the hard shoulder unless there is an emergency. This is in case the animal causes an accident.
Allowing dirt to obscure your number plate
If dirt or grime builds up so much on the car’s number plate, to the point where it becomes unreadable, you are committing a driving offence and could lead to a £1000 fine.
Parking on the wrong side of the road at night
The reason behind this driving legislation is because you can dazzle other drivers with your headlights coming in the opposite direction causing a hazard. Your rear light reflectors will also not be visible.
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