10 surprising driving offences that could cost you

10 surprising driving offences that could cost you
10 surprising driving offences that could cost you

You probably don’t even know some of them are an offence…

If you fall foul of the law, it will cost you – either a big fine, or penalty points on your licence, or perhaps even both. So it always pays to be aware of what big brother says you can and can’t do.

But what about those rules of the road you might be breaking without even being aware of it? Here are 10 things you may not know you need to avoid, along with the cost of getting it wrong you foul them…

1. Obstructing emergency services (fine: up to £5000)

This one sounds fair enough: willfully impede an ambulance or fire engine en route to an emergency, and you could be hit with a big fine. Don’t take this as a green light to run red lights or use bus lanes, though. The law says the only time you can break it to get out of the way of emergency services is if instructed by a police officer.

2. Splashing pedestrians (fine: up to £5000)

This isn’t just rude, it’s actually illegal. Drive without reasonable car for other road users and the Road Traffic Act 1988 could see you fined up to £5000. You’re more likely to be hit with a £100 fixed penalty notice though – unless the other person took you to court…

3. Driving with pets (fine: up to £5000)

If your pet is unsecured in the car, not only is it dangerous, it’s also illegal and could land you with a ‘distracted driving’ fine. This is normally dealt with via a £100 fixed penalty and three points, but in really serious cases, a court could fine you up to £5000.

4. Driving without glasses (fine: up to £1000 and six penalty points)

Your driving licence can contain information about whether you need to wear glasses. If it does, and you’re caught without them, you’ll at the very least get a £100 fixed penalty. If it goes to court, it could rise to £1000 and up to six penalty points.

5. Dirty numberplate (fine: up to £1000)

The Road Vehicle Regulations 2001 state that numberplates can’t be so dirty that they can’t be read. You can even get caught under this act if your numberplate light isn’t working, and if the lettering is the wrong font, incorrectly spaced or tampered with in any other way.

6. Flashing headlights to warn other drivers (fine: up to £1000)

It seems the polite thing to do, but it’s also illegal. If you’re spotted tipping off others about temporary speed traps, the cops could fine you £1000. Why? Because it’s obstructing the police in catching errant drivers, that’s why…

7. Using an unsecured sat-nav (fine: up to £1000)

Don’t think you can get away with holding your sat nav to operate it behind the wheel. It might not be a mobile phone, but the rules are the same – and you’ll risk a £200 fine and six penalty points, which rises to £1000 if it goes to court.

8. Sounding your horn (fine: up to £1000)

It’s not illegal to sound your horn to warn others of danger – but it is illegal to hoot it when stationary in traffic (so no letting off steam in traffic). You can’t sound it on roads with street lights and a 30mph speed limit between 11.30pm and 7am, either.

9. Not updating your address (fine: up to £1000)

Basically, your driving licence is invalid if your name and address aren’t correct. So, if you forget to update it, you face up to a £1000 fine.

10. Leaving snow on your car’s roof (fine: £60 and three penalty points)

What, it’s illegal to drive with snow on your roof? Don’t worry, it’s not… but, if it falls off and lands on another vehicle, or slides forward and conceals your windscreen, you could be fined for either driving without due consideration, or driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition. Both come with a £60 fine and three points on your licence.

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