Motorists have been urged to consider their everyday driving habits in case they’re breaking the law unknowingly.
The driving experts at LeaseCar.co.uk have revealed a list of laws that drivers may not even realise they are breaking.
From dirty number plates to using mobile phones at drive-thrus, there are many unsuspecting motoring laws that can catch out even the sharpest of drivers.
Many of these offences can carry hefty fines or even severe penalties.
A spokesperson from LeaseCar.co.uk said: “There are many rules and regulations of the road that we may not have been directly taught, but are very important to know in order to avoid prosecution.
“Motorists often assume that the legalities of the road are simple and self explanatory; however, this is not the case.
“Being wary of the less obvious rules, regulations and laws can keep drivers out of trouble with the law.”
- Dirt on number plate
It is a crime to block your number plate with something that can impact its visibility towards other drivers, ANPR cameras and the police. However, it is also an offence if your number plate is blocked by either dirt or snow. The penalty for this can be anything up to £1,000. So making sure your vehicle is clean and shiny is important for more than just aesthetic reasons!
- Splashing pedestrians
Now you may think that this only happens in Hollywood movies when the character is having a bad day. In fact, it is an offence to splash a pedestrian with malicious intent. A common punishment for this offence is a £100 fine and three points on the licence. However, in exceptional circumstances this can rise to a figure as high as £5,000. Taking care to avoid puddles near bus shelters and pedestrianised areas is the best way to avoid this.
- Paying by phone in a drive thru
Possibly one of the most surprising offences on this list is using your phone to pay when you are in a drive thru. With the risk of £200 and six points on your license this is an offence many motorists will be looking to avoid. If you are paying for food with contactless phone payment, make sure to turn your engine off first or failing that, use an alternative method like card or cash.
- Unsecured animals in the car
While dogs poking their head out of the car is definitely cute to see, it can actually pose a serious safety risk, not only to the driver but other motorists too. If your pet is able to move about your vehicle freely and without any safety measures it can cause distracted driving, which can be punishable by a £100 fine.
- Cradling babies
There are many requirements to adhere to when driving with a baby on board. As well as not placing your baby in a front-facing seat and having the appropriate car seat in accordance to their size, it is also illegal to cradle a baby in a vehicle. The safety of a child is deemed as the most important and if this safety is not met, drivers could be faced with a £500 and three points on their license.
Getting angry behind the wheel could land you in hot water, especially when it is excessive. Not only can this be classified as a breach of peace, but it could also leave you with up to a £1,000 fine that you will have to pay for losing your cool.
- Sleeping in your car whilst drunk
If you’ve had a few too many and you’re thinking about sleeping in your car instead of making your way home, then think again. This seemingly harmless act can be charged as being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle and can get you disqualified from driving as well as leaving you with up to a £2,500 fine to pay.
- Driving too slowly
This rule is one that sparks controversy because some deem it as unfair or harsh, whereas others believe by eradicating slow drivers traffic jams will be less severe. Although there is no minimum speed limit on motorways for example, if you’re caught driving dangerously too slow, you can be pulled over by the police. Depending on the severity of the offence, a common penalty is a £100 fine and three points for not showing reasonable consideration to other drivers.
- Warning drivers
Warning other drivers of speed cameras and police vehicles may seem like a heroic act, but it could land you in some trouble. In the eyes of the law this can obstruct the duties of an officer and can hinder the effectiveness of the job they’re doing. Carrying a potential fine of up to £1000 it is definitely an offence to be aware of next time you try to warn other drivers.