Motorists warned of little-known laws which may lead to £5,000 fine

New DVLA rules and driving laws coming in 2022

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With motorists across the UK celebrating Christmas and the run-up to New Year’s Eve, the last thing they will want in their stockings is a fixed penalty notice. Even though these driving mistakes may be commonplace to some on the road, experts are warning that people should avoid these at all costs or face heavy punishments.

Ashley Johnson, Sales Manager at Parkland Motors, said: “We’re making drivers aware of offences that people might not know are illegal as many of them are simple to avoid. 

“Drivers could face fines of up to £5,000 for some of these offences, making it important to know the law.

“Being fined for doing something behind the wheel that you didn’t know was illegal is a situation no one wants to be in.

“Fortunately, we are here to educate with a few scenarios which carry fines should you be caught doing them.”

Using mobile phones

Motorists are being warned when using their phones to send a text, change a song or even look at a map. They could face a fine of up to £200 and six points on their licence.

Drivers should only be looking at their phone if it is fixed to the windscreen or dashboard in a holder device where they can clearly see it and it’s not distracting them whilst driving. 

Laws were tightened earlier this year to make punishments more severe for those who use their mobile device when at the wheel.

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Driving in the rain

Motorists can receive a £100 fixed penalty notice and three penalty points if they drive through a puddle at speed and splash a pedestrian. This would be considered driving “without reasonable consideration for other persons”.

In extreme cases, careless motorists considered driving in a manner that “amounts to a clear act of incompetence, selfishness, impatience, and aggressiveness” could see fines of £5,000. 

Ashley added: “To avoid this hefty fine, decrease your speed as you approach the puddle in order to not create a huge splash for unsuspecting pedestrians at the roadside. Driving around the puddle is also an option – after you’ve checked your mirrors and it’s safe to do so, of course.”

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Sounding the horn

Many drivers are guilty of laying on the car horn after being cut up at a roundabout or finding themselves driving behind someone travelling 30mph in a 60mph zone, but just because it’s a common occurrence doesn’t mean that it’s acceptable. 

People sounding the horn out of aggression could be fined £30 and Parkland Motors is reminding people the correct way a horn should be used.

“The horn should only be sounded to alert other drivers of your presence and it should never be sounded between 11:30pm and 7:00am on a road with street lights and a speed limit of 30mph,” Ashley said.

Driving too slowly

Drivers travelling at half the speed limit just after a blind bend, for example, could easily be driven into the back of other drivers travelling faster. 

Whilst there is no minimum speed on the roads that drivers should be aware of, it is common sense to not drive in such a slow manner that it’s dangerous for other drivers.

The maximum penalty for driving too slowly could be as much as nine points on your licence and an unlimited fine.

Number plates

Drivers will want a restful Christmas period this year and may avoid cleaning their car, even though this could lead to a £1,000 fine. Why it may be accidental, a dirty number plate is hard to be seen by police officers and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, which it is required to be. 

Mr Johnson added: “Now the bad weather season is upon us, it’s easy for cars to get dirty very quickly so we advise checking your number plate often and giving it a wipe if it’s hard to read. 

“The good news about all five of these situations which you can be fined for is that they are all easily avoidable simply by being aware. For a situation that might seem small, the dangers are much bigger so it’s vital to be educated no matter how long you’ve been driving for”.

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