Drivers warned of huge fines this autumn for common number plate error

What changes are being made to the Highway Code?

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As autumn approaches, many drivers will be conscious of driving in heavy downpours. Treacherous weather conditions may not only jeopardise the safety of road users but also their wallets as there are several driving laws that motorists must be aware of.

With that in mind, Express.co.uk spoke to a motoring expert who urged drivers to familiarise themselves with the rules before it’s too late.

Dorry Potter, car and scrappage expert at National Scrap Car, stressed that as Britain faces more heavy showers in the coming months, there will be more mud on the road.

When driving through mud at speed, the splash can often result in dirty number plates.

Having a dirty number plate can land drivers in trouble with the law if they are undetectable to ANPR cameras.

Ms Potter said: “Failing to clear any dirt, ice or even snow as we approach winter obscuring your front and rear number plate could earn you a fine of up to £1,000 from local authorities.

“The law states that all number plates must be clearly visible, as if it is obstructed it can affect your car being picked up by speed cameras or police checks.”

The expert also warned drivers of driving through puddles at speed and having insufficient tyre depth.

Ms Potter explained: “Drivers will often race through puddles for the effect of it splashing on the windows, however, if someone happens to get splashed as a result, particularly if it is done with malice then there is a hefty fine as punishment.

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“Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, it is illegal to drive ‘without reasonable consideration for other persons’.

“The law also bans ‘driving through a puddle causing pedestrians to be splashed’.

“If found guilty, motorists can be slapped with a fine of up to £5,000, for behaviour deemed to be ‘an act of incompetence, selfishness, impatience, or aggressiveness’.

“As well as a fine, drivers are also risking being handed between three and nine penalty points on their licence.”

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When it comes to tyres, Ms Potter stressed: “Having less than the required tyre tread depth is not only extremely dangerous, as it reduces traction on the road, it’s illegal!

“Tyres are required to have a minimum tread depth of at least 1.6mm round the entire outer circumference.

“The penalty for driving with illegal tyres on your car is severe. There’s a compulsory driving licence endorsement of three penalty points, and a fine of up to £2,500 for each illegal tyre – which means if each tyre is below the legal limit you could face a fine of up to £10,000!”

Tyres typically lose air naturally, at a rate of up to two PSI (pound per square inch) every month.

Ensuring the air in the tyres is topped up not only prolongs the life of the tread but also improves fuel efficiency as there is less rolling resistance on the road.

If the tyres are even slightly distorted due to incorrect tyre pressure, drivers will be using more fuel to keep the car running smoothly.

This is because of the added friction while driving that comes from a misshapen tyre.

Drivers can check their tyre tread very easily with a 20p coin.

Current UK law states that tyre tread on cars must be at a minimum of 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tread, around its entire circumference.

Drivers should place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of the tyre.

If the outer band of the 20p coin is obscured when it is inserted, then the tread is above the legal limit.

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