Driving Offences You Didn’t Know You Were Committing
The flash of blue police lights in the rear view mirror fills any motorist with dread especially if they already have points on their driving licence.
There are many motoring offences drivers may not realise they are committing, carrying fines of up to £1,000 or leading to an outright driving ban via the totting up system.
But knowing the law can help a motorist avoid breaking it. Some offences are less clear cut than speeding for example and are open to interpretation, meaning that there may be scope to challenge on several grounds. At Just Motor Law we recommend that in order to avoid a motoring conviction - drivers should refresh their awareness of the law by re-visiting the Highway Code. You may be surprised at the 'everyday driving habits' which carry legal consequences.
To help motorists, our Motor Law team addresses a selection of common offences motorists did not even know they were committing;
1. Using flashing headlights as a warning
Warning fellow oncoming motorists of a police speed trap by flashing your lights could see you charged with obstructing the Police if it is proven you helped a speeding motorist avoid possible prosecution. A 64-year-old male motorist from Grimsby fell foul of the law in 2011 and was hit with a fine and costs totalling £440 by the Magistrates Court.
2. Illegal number plates
Dirty number plates that obscure the registration details can lead to a £1,000 fine. Be sure to keep the number plate dirt free so all the digits are clearly visible.
3. Sounding the horn
Sounding the horn while stationary unless to warn a moving vehicle of danger is a motoring offence. In fact, a driver cannot use their horn on a residential street from 11.30pm till 7.00am in any circumstances.
4. Distractions while driving
Changing a CD, sipping a hot drink, eating food or doing your make-up while driving could be considered careless or even dangerous driving.
5. Taking a phone call
Even if a driver pulls over to take a mobile phone call - they may still be considered by the Police to be ‘driving’ and therefore breaking the law if the engine is running. Be safe: park up and switch off the car engine or use a hands free phone.
6. Playing loud music
Playing loud music, especially with the car windows down, could be regarded as causing a distraction for either yourself or other road users.
7. Child seats
Cradling a baby in your arms as a passenger, even if you are wearing a seatbelt, is unlawful and the driver is responsible. All children must have a ‘restraint’ such as a booster seat or baby seat until their 12th birthday or reaching 135cm tall. Travelling in a taxi is an exception.
8. Road rage
Being abusive or making rude hand gestures to a fellow road user or pedestrian can be considered as careless or dangerous driving.
9. The ‘morning after’ the night before
Motoring convictions for drivers who are found to be over the alcohol limit from the previous night are on the rise. Some people who stop drinking alcohol at midnight may still be above legal limits for driving at 4pm the next day - 16 hours later - depending on the amount consumed.
10. Drug driving
Driving under the influence of illegal drugs such as cannabis or cocaine is increasingly well known, but patients on prescription drugs face a similar ban if their driving is impaired by medication (e.g. pills for blood pressure, pain relief and even some cold and flu remedies).
Our Motor Law team is a dedicated team of experienced lawyers that provide expert advice and representation to motorists who are alleged to have committed a driving offence. The team defends motorists from across the UK, providing specialist advice on all motoring offences including speeding, failing to stop, driving with no insurance, drink or drug driving.
We understand that losing your driving licence can heavily impact on your day to day life.
Finding the right lawyer to act for you is crucial to avoid a motoring conviction and more importantly, to avoid a driving disqualification.
We also aim to give advice with regards to motoring offences in order to prevent drivers falling foul of the law.
If you find yourself accused of any motoring offences, Just Motor Law provides an exclusive and transparent service where you always know the financial cost of your case from the outset, with no hidden surprises.
Our Motor Law team is a specialist legal service that provides expert advice and representation to motorists across the UK. Our success has been built upon our commitment to our clients, providing expert knowledge and advice when it is needed most.
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