10 obscure driving offences most drivers have committed

There are a number of obscure rules and regulations that you may not be aware of, and you could be risking points on your licence and fines if you don’t keep them in mind while driving.

Formula One Autocentres compiled a list of the 10 most obscure driving laws.

1. Warning other drivers about speed cameras – even on social media
On the spot fine: £1,000
The Highway Code says you should “only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users”. So, if you get caught flashing your headlights to warn other drivers of a speed camera, and you get seen by a passing police car then you could face an on the spot fine of £1,000.
However, the section 89 of the Police Act 1996 also states that “any person who resists or wilfully obstructs a constable in the execution of his duty” is guilty of an offence, meaning that even warning other drivers of speed cameras off-road could land you with a charge and a fine.

2. Parking in the wrong direction
On the spot fine: £1,000
Rule 248 of the Highway Code states that after dark, “a car must not be parked at the side of the road facing against the direction of traffic unless in a recognised parking space”. 

3. Letting your dog stick his head out the window
On the spot fine: £1,000
Potential court fine: £5,000
Potential points: 9
Rule 57 of the Highway Code states: “When in a vehicle, make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so that they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly.” So, if there’s any chance your pet might start misbehaving, keep them in a harness to avoid a fine.

4. Using an incorrect car-seat for babies and toddlers
On the spot fine: £500
Under the current law, children under 12 years old (or under 135cm tall) are legally obliged to use a child seat when travelling in a car. Recent research shows that one third of parents have broken this law by driving with children without a car seat. 
Child seats also need to be suitable for the size of the child – not too big or too small. Make sure you’re regularly upgrading your booster seat as your kids grow or you could end up risking injury and a significant fine.

5. Driving with a dirty number plate
On the spot fine: £1,000
Drivers with dirty number plates or ones that are hard to read may face a fine of up to £1,000.

6. Paying with your phone at a drive-thru
On the spot fine: £200
Potential points: 6
While everyone is already aware that using your phone while driving is a big no-no, did you know that using your phone when behind the wheel is illegal in all cases, unless your engine is off and the handbrake is on. 
This means that using your phone out to pay for your drive-thru order is technically illegal and could land you with a £200 fine and even six points on your licence.

7. Putting your sat-nav in the wrong position
On the spot fine: £100
Potential court fine: £2,500
Potential points: 3
Yes, really! Although it’s not technically illegal to place a sat nav in the middle of the windscreen, if your sat-nav is blocking your view out of the windscreen then it will be considered driving without due care and attention and could mean a £100 on-the-spot fine and three penalty points on your licence. 
You could even be fined £1,000 if you challenge the charge in court.

8. Driving without sunglasses
On the spot fine: £100
Potential court fine: £2,500
Potential points: 3
Sunglasses don’t just make you look like a cool, stylish Hollywood star – they also help ensure our vision isn’t affected by bright sun flares while you’re driving. So, under the ‘Driving with due care and attention’ laws, if you can’t see the road without squinting then you’re putting yourself and others at risk. 
If you’re seen to be struggling then you’re risking a fine of up to £2,500 depending on how serious the issue is. 

9. Honking your horn
On the spot fine: £1,000
Rule 112 of the Highway Code states: “Never sound your horn aggressively. You must not use your horn while stationary on the road, or when driving in a built-up area between the hours of 11.30pm and 7am, except when another road user poses a danger.” 

10. Blasting your radio
On the spot fine: £100
Potential court fine: £2,500
Potential points: 3
Being distracted by your music then you could be hit with a fine for not driving with due care and attention. This will mean a £100 on-the-spot fine, which can increase to up to £2,500 and three points on your license if it goes to court.

A spokesperson from Formula One Autocentres says, “After driving for a while, it can be easy to get comfortable and start driving in a way that can be considered careless. While you may be confident in your driving skills, don’t let this stop you from paying attention to the little things. Singing in the car, letting your dog climb over the seats, and using your horn unnecessarily may seem like things that everyone does – but it can be easy to cause an accident if you’re not focused.
“It’s also good to remember that speeding cameras aren’t there to cost you money – they are there to keep you safe. The best way to avoid fines is to simply ensure that you’re not driving over the speed limit. Again, no matter how good a driver you are, driving too fast is dangerous for you and others on the road.”

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‘Significant hardcore’ continue to use mobile phones – RAC

Nearly a quarter of drivers are making or receiving calls on a handheld phone while at the wheel, a new survey suggests

The 2019 RAC Report on Motoring, published on 14 October, found the use of mobile phones to be the top concern among drivers – cited by 12% of respondents.

Despite this, 23% of those surveyed confess to making or receiving calls ‘at least occasionally’. The figure is much higher among young drivers (17-24 years) – with 51% admitting to the offence.

Meanwhile, 17% of all drivers – and 35% of under-25 year-olds – say they check texts, email or social media while driving, despite the heightened level of risk involved in looking away from the road for seconds at a time.

Only a small minority of drivers (15%) follow official Government advice to put their phone in their glove compartment while driving: most people either keep their phone in a pocket or bag (45%) or put it on the seat or console next to them (25%).

Road-rage on the rise?
The RAC’s annual report, based on a survey of more than 1,750 UK motorists, reveals drivers’ attitudes and concerns and paints a picture of how and why car owners’ views are evolving over time.

Nearly a third of respondents (30%) say they have personally witnessed some form of physical abuse related to a driving incident in the past 12 months.

Almost half claim to have seen verbal abuse dished out to another motorist, while 60% say they see a greater number of road-rage incidents now than they did 10 years ago.

Simon Williams, RAC road safety spokesperson, said: “All the fears associated with the behaviour of other drivers on the road have never featured as highly in our research as top motoring concerns as they have this year.

“This is primarily due to double the proportion of people ranking the aggressive behaviour of other drivers as their top concern this year (4% to 8%).

“Drivers using handheld mobile phones, drink-driving, drug-driving and breaking traffic laws remained as number-one concerns for similar proportions of motorists to last year’s research.

“This means people must have experienced some very disturbing aggressive behaviour on the UK’s roads in the last year for them all to rank in top spot together.

“The most likely explanation must surely be a combination of factors including the pressure of modern life, reliance on the car for so many journeys, record volumes of traffic and congestion leading to never before seen frustration at the wheel.

“Perhaps it is also the case that our tolerance of other people who make mistakes while driving is falling.

“A quick sorry in the form of an apologetic wave could go a long way to taking the heat out of a situation, but unfortunately all too often it is a hand gesture of another sort that leads to an unpleasant car confrontation.”

Fines For Rear View Mirror Decoration?

Courtesy of The DIA……

Recent news reports have stated that hanging items such as air fresheners from your rear-view mirror could land you with a £1,000 fine. What is the truth?

The DVSA sent The DIA a statement to clarify the situation:

“The DVSA encourages drivers to follow the guidance as laid out in the Highway Code and The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986; Drivers Control 104 with regards to ‘No person shall drive or cause or permit any other person to drive, a motor vehicle on a road if he is in such a position that he cannot have proper control of the vehicle or have a full view of the road and traffic ahead.’


“If it is apparent at the beginning of a driving test that any obstructions are obscuring the driver’s view or potentially causing a distraction then they will be asked to be removed in the interests of the health and safety of the driver, the examiner and the general public.”

The Highway Code states: “Windscreen and windows must be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision.”

If something hanging from your mirror, or a sticker on your windscreen prevents you from having a full view of the road, you could receive an on the spot fine of £100 and three penalty points if it is preventing you from having a full view of the road. The fine could increase to £1,000 if the case goes to court.

A good reminder to parents of any pupils starting to learn to drive

Driving in the 80s

When I learnt to drive in 1986, I took my test after just 7 hours of tuition.

- Reverse parking was not taught.
- There was no Theory test.
- There was no hazard perception test.
- There was no independent drive section.
- There were no show me/tell me questions.
- There were no /very few bus lanes.
- There were no red routes.
- There were no/very few cycle lanes.
- There were no advanced stop lines.
- Cyclists were taught cycling proficiency at school.
- Pedestrians were taught the Green X Code.
- There were more police enforcing driving standards.
- There were less vehicles on the road.
- Hardly any parked cars.
- I never heard the term "road rage"
- There were no speed humps, 20 zones, build outs or other traffic "calming" measures.
- As far as I remember other drivers gave me space and time while I was learning.
- There were less/no mini roundabouts/double mini roundabouts.
- Roads were better maintained with signs and line markings you could actually see, and pot holes had not been invented.
- Supermarkets were not open 24/7 and closed on Sundays so you could always use their car parks for some initial practice.
- The test only lasted about 20 minutes.


Your children have so much more to deal with than you ever did. Road conditions and layout, driver behaviour and driver distractions are just a few of the more complex things a good driver needs to deal with these days. Please show them the respect and admiration they deserve for just attempting to learn to drive let alone facing the far more taxing Driving Tax.

Test Nerves

Nerves can undoubtedly play a part in whether succeed or fail a driving test, yet lots of very nervous people pass their driving test 1st time ever day:

HOW?

Well firstly remember instructors don't teach you to fail, so stick to what they have told you and what you have been taught! Forget what uncle Bill says about his test in 1975 it's not relevant.

Don't listen to horror stories from others about how bad their tests were, people love a bit of drama and they will always make things sound worse!

Keep the date of your test and time to yourself. If you are nervous, why have an audience?

Now, this is important STICK to the routines you have been taught, go through the procedures in your mind, mentally plan your manoeuvres and, how to deal with junctions! Remember your lane discipline, three reasons to be in the right hand lane:

- Turning right
- Overtaking
- If ONE arrow tells you that, you must use that lane, otherwise stay left!

Watch for road markings and signs they are like a silent instructor in the car!

The test lasts about the length of Eastenders, just make sure you don't have to go back for a second episode.

See who's passed recently

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