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Obscure Driving Laws!


You're a good driver, right? You don't break the law regularly? (2mph over the speed limit is technically speeding, but that's not what we're looking at here!) We all like to think that we're good drivers, and that our regular journeys are carried out within the letter of the law. There's no need for the local constabulary to be interested in you or your driving style… or is there?

Even some things that you might consider to be courteous driving could actually land you in trouble, so here we take a quick look at some of the top things that you might not know….

  • If you've ever seen a speed camera van and been delighted that you were well within the speed limit when you saw it, and then flashed your lights to warn oncoming cars of its position, you've broken the law. This can be construed as obstructing the Police in their duty and you could face a minimum £30 fine – and up to £1000! Maybe just a smug grin as they get caught instead, eh?
  • Do you use Apple Pay or other mobile contactless payments to pay at the Drive Thru or Toll booth? You're breaking the law… With laws that were intended to keep us safe on the roads by preventing drivers being distracted by holding a mobile phone, they have effectively made it illegal to use contactless mobile technology to pay whilst in your car, unless you turn your engine off and apply your handbrake. If you get caught doing this, you could face 6 penalty points on your licence and a £200 fine.
  • Have you ever given friends (or family!) a lift somewhere and then been given petrol money to thank you? If so, be careful about the amounts you accept. Whilst it might be very generous of Auntie Gladys to give you £20 for a 10 minute journey, this would be making a profit, which you can't do, unless you're a taxi driver with the correct paperwork and licences. Unless Aunty Gladys is extremely generous, we don't think she'll be forking out for the £5000 fine, or taking the 6 points for you.
  • Whilst we're talking about money, if you've ever asked a stranger in a car park for change for the parking meter, you've done it again, yes that's right. you've broken the law. Technically, you're begging and this is against the Law, and whilst it's not a driving offence, so no penalty points, you can get a fine.
  • Ever had one (or a few) too many, and decided to sensibly sleep it off in your car before attempting to drive home? Uh oh! Unless you've given the keys to a friend to take away with them, you've broken the law and face a lengthy ban and up to 10 penalty points. If you have given the keys away to a responsible person and they are coming back when you've sobered up, then you're unlikely to be considered "in control" of the vehicle, and you can sleep soundly.
  • Are you using your mobile phone as a Sat Nav? If it's not fixed into a cradle, then you're leaving yourself wide open for 6 penalty points and a fine of £200. If you're using your phone as a Sat Nav and it IS in a cradle, or if you're using an actual Sat Nav and it's positioned above the steering column, you're looking at those points and the fine again – wherever it is fixed, it shouldn't be in your direct line of sight.
  • Have you totted up all the fines you've accrued this year with your standard driving? Is it a bit scary?
  • Don't worry though – at least you don't live in China – there it is illegal to stop for pedestrians, so they need to have their wits about them!
  • In Spain, if you need spectacles for driving, you MUST carry a spare pair at all times! And in Russia, don't let your car get dirty, it's against the law, and you probably wouldn't want to upset the authorities there. 
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Thursday, 23 January 2020