Driving laws you didn’t realise you were breaking

Parking on pavements, eating at the wheel and paying with your phone at a drive through are just some of the driving laws you never realised you were breaking.

These obscure offences which are unknown to many British drivers and many may have already broken them without realising, have been compiled by Reg Transfers.

  • Driving over 30mph on streetlamp-lit roads: roads lit by streetlamps are designated “urban areas”, where the speed limit is always 30mph, unless signposted otherwise. Exceeding this limit could see you issued with a minimum £100 fine and three penalty points.
  • Parking on the pavement in London: in the capital, parking on pavements could see you faced with a £70 fine.
  • Flashing headlights to warn motorists about speed traps: some people consider it to be good manners, however flashing your lights to warn other motorists about speed traps can get you in big trouble. The minimum fine for this offence is just £30, but charges can range right up to £1,000 for obstructing an officer’s duty.
  • Driving too slowly: just as driving too quickly can be dangerous, driving too slowly represents a hazard to other drivers. Drivers who are too far below the limit could face penalties ranging from a verbal warning to nine points.
  • Napping in you car whilst drunk: never mind dozing at the wheel, it’s an offence to nap in your car at all whilst drunk. If you get caught doing this, you could face up to ten penalty points and a substantial fine.
  • Splashing pedestrians with puddles: as well as being extremely obnoxious, driving through a puddle to splash pedestrians is a criminal offence and drivers who do this face three penalty points, plus a fine ranging from £100 to £5,000, if your case goes to court.
  • Swearing at other drivers: making rude gestures at other drivers or swearing at fellow motorist counts as “disorderly behaviour” and this could see you given a fine equal to 75% of your weekly income.
  • Inappropriate honking: beeping at anyone for any reason other than to alert them to your presence is not allowed. Using your horn whilst in stationary traffic carries a starting fine of £30, but this penalty can rise up to £1000.
  • Using a loose sat nav: if you use your phone as a sat nav but don’t fix it to the dashboard, you could be looking at fines of £200 and up to six penalty points.
  • Eating or drinking whilst driving: although not illegal in their own right, eating and drinking at the wheel can lead to drivers being slapped with a £100 fine and three points.
  • Allowing passengers to cradle babies: if a passenger holds a baby in their arms whilst you drive, this is in breach of strict new child safety laws. Babies must stay in child seats, or you could get a £100 fine.
  • Allowing dirt to obscure your number plate: it’s important that your number plate is always clearly legible, or you could face fines ranging from £100 to £1000 pounds.
  • Leaving snow on the car roof: having any snow on the car roof is a hazard to you and other motorists as it could fall and obstruct your view which could lead to you being fined with three penalty points and £60.
  • Paying with a phone at a drive through: using your mobile to pay at a drive through still counts as using a phone at the wheel and if you’re caught, this offence carries an on the spot fine of £200 and six penalty points.
  • Resting on the hard shoulder: the hard shoulder is designed to be used in emergencies and resting on it could see you slapped with a £100 fine and three points.

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