FIVE driving laws you didn’t know which could land you a £1K fine
Dan Walker reveals his 'terrifying' driving experience
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When it comes to driving safely, most UK drivers know the main laws and highway codes to abide by. However, as time goes by, or when you’re in a rush, your standards might slip. It’s a good idea to brush up on the lesser-known driving rules that could saddle you with hefty fines or points on your licence.
If you’ve passed your driving test a while ago, chances are you may have picked up some bad habits after a few years on the road.
However, while we all know to avoid any dangerous driving behaviours, there are some less obvious behaviours that can result in fines, points and penalties to drivers.
Joel Kempson, Car Insurance Expert at Uswitch, said: “When you think of penalty points and careless or dangerous driving, you might think of causing accidents, excessive speeding, and driving uninsured, but it isn’t always as clear as that.
“Drivers can face points, and even harsher penalties, for anything that can be deemed to be taking your attention away from the road, plus failing to identify yourself when asked.”
From splashing pedestrians to forgetting your ID and leaving your lights unrepaired, do you know what five laws could land you unlimited driving fines?
1 – Don’t EVER forget your ID – it can cost you £1,000
If you get pulled over, you are required to identify yourself either by your driving licence or another form of ID, like a passport.
If you fail to provide the police officer with ID then they have the right to slap you with a £1,000 fine on the spot, or even to disqualify you from driving.
2 – Faulty lights can lead to a hefty £2,500 fine and three points on your licence
That’s right – faulty lights can cost you much more than the cost of a repair if you get caught driving with them.
Some of the most common driving offences come from failing to keep your vehicle in top shape, making it dangerous on the roads.
You should check your vehicle every few weeks, paying particular attention to faulty lights, the condition of your tyres and your brakes.
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3 – You can get fined or disqualified for driving a vehicle you’re not licensed to
It may sound obvious, but make sure your license covers the vehicle you’re driving.
If you passed your test before January 1, 1997, you’re allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination of up to 8,250kg MAM (maximum authorised mass) and a minibus with a trailer over 750kg.
If you passed on or after January 1, 1997, the rules are slightly different. You can drive vehicles with up to 3,500kg MAM and up to eight passenger seats. You are also permitted to tow a trailer that weighs up to 750kg.
4 – Driving “without due care and attention” carries an unlimited fine and can get you BANNED from driving
According to the Crown Prosecution Service, careless driving includes:
- Driving too close to another vehicle
- Tuning a car radio, using a mobile phone, or lighting a cigarette where such behaviour avoidably distracts the driver
- Flashing lights to force drivers in front to give way
- Misuse of any lane to avoid queuing or to gain an advantage over other road users
- Driving through a puddle causing pedestrians to be splashed
These behaviours – and more – can affect your car insurance policy, as well as leading to a fine, or up to nine points on your licence.
5 – Dangerous driving carries jail sentences of up to two years.
When does careless driving become dangerous?
The Road Traffic Act 1988 defines dangerous driving as when “driving falls far below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver.”
Dangerous driving is when your carelessness, or willfully breaking laws that are designed to protect road users, can endanger the lives of yourself and others.
Dangerous driving carries the harshest penalties, but did you know that it can include:
- Ignoring traffic lights or road signs
- Distracted driving, such as while reading a map, tuning a car radio or talking to passengers
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