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10 things that drivers do that could be illegal

1. Dirty number plates
This may sound simple but keeping your vehicle, particularly your number plate, clean is of paramount importance. This information should always be visible. If it is not visible then under Section 43 of the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act of 1994, you may receive a hefty fine – maximum of £1000. Keep it clean people!

2. Running the engine to keep warm
Unless you are stuck in traffic, this is illegal. Unfortunately, even if it’s the coldest of cold day you are breaking the law by trying to stay warm. This law comes under Section 98 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986.

3. Eating at the wheel
Now this is obviously not illegal but can depend on what it is you’re eating and whether this impacts your driving. For instance, eating a chocolate bar would not be as bad as eating a hot meal from a fast food chain.

4. Driving with an empty windscreen bottle
Everyone should know this as it is something that should be taught during your driving lessons – there are no excuses. This law comes under Section 34 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, however it is unlikely that you will be prosecuted for this.

5. Smoking
This is a relatively new law, but since October 2015 it has been illegal to smoke in a car if a passenger is under 18. It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that they, and other passengers, do not do this.

6. Taking your pet out of the car if you break down
The information surrounding this can be found in the Highway Code. You are not permitted to remove your pet from your vehicle if you have broken down on the hard shoulder, as this could cause further disruption to traffic – this is only allowed in an emergency.

7. Using your phone if the engine is running
We think that this is the most relevant and important point on this list as it includes various scenarios. Put simple, if the vehicle engine is on, then your phone should be nowhere near your hand or eyeline.

a.Paying with a smart phone has become more popular in recent years, however, if you’re stopping at a McD’s drive-thru you must ensure that your engine is off if you’re paying with your phone.
b.Even if you’re stuck in a mass traffic jam or the road ahead is closed you should not be using your phone to text, call or post pointless snapchat videos – it’s dangerous and illegal!
c.When supervising a learner driver, it is illegal for you to use a handheld phone or similar device.

If you are prosecuted whilst driving you could potentially receive a ban from driving, get a fine of up to £1000, or (if you passed your test in the last 2 years) you’ll lose your licence.

8. Parking within 10 meters of a junction
Parking too close to a junction makes it more difficult for other drivers and is therefore an offence.

9. Splashing pedestrians
Under Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (that deals with careless and inconsiderate driving) it is an offence to splash pedestrians. You may be prosecuted and served the dry-cleaning bill.

10. Using a horn between 11.30pm and 7am in built up areas
This is an illegal act, even if it’s just a short pip of the horn. It is unlikely that the police would charge you if caught, but don’t take our word for it because it is still an offence!

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Posted on 11th January 2018 at 10:46 AM

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