Drivers risk £5,000 fine this weekend for breaking little-known clothing rule
Motorists attending Halloween parties this weekend could be caught out by a little-known costume driving law likely to cause havoc.
Experts at LeaseCar have raised awareness of Rule 97 of the Highway Code which has clear guidelines on clothing.
The law means wearing extravagant costumes behind the wheel could be against the rules with road users likely to be handed a ghoulish fine.
Tim Alcock, spokesperson for LeaseCar said: “When behind the wheel, it is important drivers have full control and concentration to ensure the safety of themselves and other road users.
“Lots of people enjoy getting into the spirit of Halloween by dressing up and decorating, but this can have a serious impact on driving abilities.
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“Under the Highway Code, those celebrating must make sure their clothing and footwear don’t prevent them from efficiently driving.
“To avoid risking a hefty fine, drivers should be extremely cautious and avoid getting in the spooky spirit until safely parked.”
Rule 97 of the Highway Code clearly states that drivers “should ensure that clothes and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner”.
It means blood-curdling costumes involving long items such as bedsheets for ghosts or capes for witches and wizards could catch motorists out.
If a costume is found to be the cause of horrific driving, motorists could be summoned to court and charged for careless driving.
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This could see owners slapped with a £5,000 fine, up to nine penalty points and a possible driving ban in a disastrous trick-or-treat gift.
LeaseCar said: “Before setting off, drivers should consider how outfits may prevent quick reactions to potential hazards.
“For instance, gloves could make the grip significantly looser on the steering wheel, or a long dress could get caught in the pedals.”
Halloween staples such as masks and coloured contact lenses may also limit eyesight and motorists’ vision of road hazards.
Motorists may be penalised for “failure to have proper control of the vehicle or full view of the road and traffic ahead”.
This is punishable with a lower £1,000 fine and three penalty points but would still be a cursed end to a night out.
Finally, LeaseCar warns it is illegal to dress up as a police officer or any member of law enforcement under the Police Act 1996.
Those who dress up as a cop, even as a Halloween prank, could risk jail time for impersonating an officer.
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