New research has shown that more than 70% of British drivers are breaking a little-known law, which could see them facing fines of up to £1,000 or points on their licence.
Leading used car buying service, ChooseMyCar.com, found that nearly three-quarters of UK drivers admit to honking their horns or swearing at other road users – even though it could land them in trouble. It’s just one of several strange road laws that most British drivers probably don’t have a clue about.
ChooseMyCar.com has compiled a list of the top 10 strange rules, to make sure that drivers stay safe, fine-free, and within the law this summer.
These include not swearing at other drivers, using your aircon correctly, and wearing the correct sunglasses that don’t cause any blindspots. Many of these rules are particularly important over summer, and in this current heatwave.
Founder of ChooseMyCar.com, Nick Zapolski, said that many drivers will have broken some – if not all – of these little known rules.
“Our research has already shown that nearly three quarters of British drivers have honked their horn or sworn at other drivers in frustration.
“But even the most angelic drivers are at risk with some of these obscure facts, like correct sunglass use. I’d urge all drivers to check out our list to make sure they don’t end up £5,000 poorer this summer.”
Honking your horn in aggression, swearing, or using rude gestures towards other road users
Many of us have been guilty of this one, but actually, behaving like this could see you with a fine of £1,000. This is due to the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, which prohibits aggression at the wheel. You could also be stopped for driving without full control of the vehicle, which could get you points on your licence, as well as a fine.
Using your Aircon “incorrectly”
The recent heatwave probably means most of us won’t fall foul of this rule – but Highway Code 237 insists that drivers keep their cars “well ventilated” at all times. Apparently, this is more to do with drowsiness than overheating, and if you’re deemed to be incorrectly ventilating your car, you could face a fine of up to £5,000!
The wrong sunglasses
This seems like lunacy, but according to a combination of rules, wearing the wrong glasses might cost you up to £5,000 or 9 points on your licence. While code 237 states that drivers should slow down – or even stop – if their vision is affected by sunlight, Rule 97 says the clothing you wear shouldn’t affect your ability to control the vehicle. Technically, this means that wearing -fitted sunglasses that cause a blind spot, or too darkly tinted, could see you pulled over and fined.
Leaving animals in cars on hard shoulder
Most motorists are aware that if they break down on the motorway, they and their passengers should vacate the vehicle immediately and find a safe place to await help. But what many don’t know is that they can’t take any pets with them! Rule 56 of the Highway Code states that pets cannot be on the hard shoulder in any circumstances; failure to comply can result in a fine of up to £2,500.
Wearing flip flops and hiking boots can see you walking into court
Some will know that flip flops are not deemed to be suitable footwear for driving – but walking boots and high heels are also not acceptable. Rule 97 of the Highway Code states that drivers must wear shoes and clothes that do not prevent you from using your vehicle controls in the correct manner. But there’s an easy fix – there’s no fine for driving barefoot!
Taking some prescription drugs before driving can be illegal
Many commonplace prescription drugs could see you fall foul of the Road Traffic Act 1988, section 4. This makes it an offence to drive or attempt to drive under the influence of certain drugs. Driving while taking drugs such as the commonplace Codeine can see you facing a driving ban. Always check before driving if you are taking any prescription drugs.
Drinking in a camper van/motorhome
The whole point of a motorhome is to have a home on wheels, so many motorhome or camper van owners will have had a drink while parked up. However, the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that no one in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle should be under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Technically, this could mean that drivers can be charged even if they have no intention of driving the vehicle.
Drenching a pedestrian
Despite being depicted in many a TV or film comedy, it’s actually illegal to drench a pedestrian by driving through a puddle. Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act counts this act as “driving without reasonable consideration for other people” and can land you a £100 fine.
Driving too slow
ChooseMyCar.com research showed that more than 90 percent of UK drivers admitted to speeding – but actually the opposite of this is also illegal. Driving too slow on British roads can see you fined £100 on the spot, and even give you three points on your licence. If it goes to court, you could end up with an impressive £5,000 fine and nine points on your licence.
Parking your car after dark
One little known rule means that it’s illegal to park our car at the side of the road facing against the direction of traffic after dark. This is due to HIghway Code 248, and going against this guidance can land you a fine of up to £2,500.
The full list can be found at ChooseMyCar.