Driving Laws You Didn’t Know Existed
Driving for many means freedom, fun and an easy way to get from a to b, whether that’s for commuting or pleasure. When we initially pass our driving test, it means setting out on the open road - and a time to be aware of the driving laws around us. We all know to stick within speed limits, don’t drive through a red light, but what about the other laws? The many that aren’t as common.
We’re going to share with you the driving laws you didn’t know existed and the ones to be aware of the next time you set foot on your journey.
Night time parking
Driving at night can be a lot calmer than during the day with less cars on the road. You could be going out for dinner or just fancied a drive - but something you need to consider is where you park. If you’re looking to save money and find a free parking spot, this is where this law could catch you out.
Rule 248 in the Highway Code states “You MUST NOT park on a road at night facing against the direction of the traffic flow unless in a recognised parking space.” This is because when a car is parked against that traffic flow, there’s no indication to catch the headlights of an approaching vehicle, and therefore, your car may be a potential hazard to the road.
Driving along with your pet in tow can seem like a fun and cute idea, especially when they pop their head out the window. However it can be a big cause for distraction when it comes to your driving.
Rule 57 in the Highway Code states “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.” There isn’t a direct penalty for unrestrained pets, however, the risk is that you could be charged for driving without due care if your pet distracts you - and that’s why it’s important to restrain them properly.
Preparing for snow
When winter hits, driving around can be dangerous and require more preparation before you leave your house. We’ve all been there when we were in a rush and didn’t have time to remove all the ice and snow from our car, just enough of it to give visibility to the road. But, did you know, it is against Rule 229 in the Highway Code.
Rule 229 states “Before you set off you MUST be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows and you MUST ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible.” This means, next time there’s a heavy snowfall, take the time and care to do just that.
You never know when you might have to be prepared for snow to hit these days with the unpredictablilty of the weather... Maybe the cars we all drive could have something to do with that. As we move towards our greener future there are many options, good and bad, as far as environmental factors go... Check out The Best and Worst Vehicles for the Environment.
Parking on a pavement
Finding parking can be a tricky task, especially in busier cities or towns with no available parking spots in sight. It has been illegal to park on London pavements for over 40 years with a small fine to pay if this is the case, however, it isn’t illegal elsewhere in Britain, only if a sign permits it.
Rule 244 states “You MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it. Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs.”
Honking your horn
Driving can be stressful and many drivers around us can be dangerous or block where we’re going, causing inconvenience on the road. If you do need some tips on how to handle the stress we do have a short list of practices that could help you via our blog 10 Ways to Reduce Stress While Driving. You might feel very stressed, however, that doesn't mean you should honk the horn to share your road rage. The horn is designed to alert or warn another driver of your presence, not for aggressive purposes.
Rule 112 states “The horn. Use only while your vehicle is moving and you need to warn other road users of your presence. Never sound your horn aggressively. You MUST NOT use your horn
while stationary on the road
when driving in a built-up area between the hours of 11.30 pm and 7.00 am
except when another road user poses a danger.”
Paying at a drive through restaurant with your phone
In the age of digital technology, we use our phones as a way of payment, and it’s only natural to whip it out instead of your debit card when making payments, including at a drive-through. However, because using your mobile phone with the engine running is illegal, you could get a £200 fine and 6 penalty points on your license if you pay with it at a drive-through.
Rule 149 states “You MUST exercise proper control of your vehicle at all times. You MUST NOT use a hand-held mobile phone, or similar device, when driving or when supervising a learner driver, except to call 999 or 112 in a genuine emergency when it is unsafe or impractical to stop.” That means, using your debit card instead is something to think about when you’re on your next Mcdonald’s run. Find out more about these driving laws here.
Splashing a pedestrian
Driving in rainy conditions isn’t exactly ideal and means we have to be a bit warier of who is around us, in terms of on the road and on the pavement too. Big puddles can amount when rain is heavy and pedestrians can see the brunt of that, with vehicles splashing them as they pass. However, this isn’t actually allowed, and is punishable as it can be seen as careless driving.
In the Road Traffic Act 1988, Section 3, it states "If a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, he is guilty of an offence." If you’re caught doing this, you could receive 3-9 points on your license and up to a £5000 fine.
There you have it, 7 laws to be wary of the next time you head on the road. We’re here to help you keep as safe as possible and if you’d like to contact us today for any car leasing queries, please get in touch.
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