Van, Truck, Trailer, Bus and Coach Aftermarket News in Ireland

Road traffic laws in the UK – You think you know them?

A press release from UK website about some of the new road traffic laws due to come in there has made for interesting reading.

However, rather than the new driving-related legalities, my eyes were drawn instead to a list of lesser-known regulations. Old laws in their Highway Code that I did not know about, and that would catch drivers out if enforced to the letter of the law.

Using your aircon “incorrectly”
Rising temperatures probably means most of us won’t fall foul of this rule – but Highway Code 237 insists that drivers keep their cars “well ventilated” at all times. Apparently, this is more to do with drowsiness than overheating, and if you’re deemed to be incorrectly ventilating your car, you could face a fine of up to £5,000!

The wrong sunglasses
This seems like lunacy, but according to a combination of rules, wearing the wrong glasses might cost you up to £5,000 or 9 points on your licence. While code 237 states that drivers should slow down – or even stop – if their vision is affected by sunlight, Rule 97 says the clothing you wear shouldn’t affect your ability to control the vehicle.

Technically, this means that wearing sunglasses that cause a blind spot, or are too darkly tinted, could see you pulled over and fined.

Leaving animals in cars on hard shoulder
Most motorists are aware that if they break down on the motorway, they and their passengers should vacate the vehicle immediately and find a safe place to await help. But what many don’t know is that they can’t take any pets with them! Rule 56 of the Highway Code states that pets cannot be on the hard shoulder in any circumstances; failure to comply can result in a fine of up to £2,500.

Wearing flip flops or hiking boots can see you walking to court
Some will know that flip flops are not deemed to be suitable footwear for driving – but walking boots and high heels are also not acceptable. Rule 97 of the Highway Code states that drivers must wear shoes and clothes that do not prevent you from using your vehicle controls in the correct manner. But there’s an easy fix – there’s no fine for driving barefoot!

Drinking in a camper van/motorhome
The whole point of a motorhome is to have a home on wheels, so many motorhome or camper van owners will have had a drink while parked up. However, the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that no one in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle should be under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Technically, this could mean that drivers can be charged even if they have no intention of driving the vehicle.

Using a phone to pay at a drive-through while your car is still running
The law is incredibly strict about the using phones behind the wheel of a car. Even if you’re tapping a contactless pad with your phone at a drive-through to pay for a meal. If your engine is running and your handbrake is unlocked, you’re using your phone while managing a car and this is against the law.

The penalty for breaking this law is £200 and six points on your license.