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Five lesser-known driving mistakes that could land you with a hefty fine

In Europe
April 11, 2024
Traffic on the M1 motorway.

Drivers could get nasty surprises if they do not know the law -Credit:Getty

Motorists have been warned about five lesser-known driving mistakes that could result in hefty fines – as a survey reveals 12 million drivers are uncertain about the law.

In the UK, over 40 million people hold driving licences, and a recent survey indicates that just over two-thirds (69 per cent) of drivers are confident they know all the Highway Code regulations.

However, this suggests that approximately 12 million people are unsure about road rules, potentially endangering themselves and others, reports the Mirror.

The study, conducted by Compare the Market, identified five lesser-known errors that could result in fines or penalty points for unsuspecting drivers. The first reveals that nearly half of drivers (46 per cent) are unaware they can be fined for flashing headlights to warn of police presence.

According to Rule 110 of the Highway Code, drivers should only flash their headlights to alert other road users of their presence. Using lights to warn of an upcoming speed trap could violate Section 89 of the Police Act 1997.

Motorists found guilty of this could face a fine of up to £1,000. Another rule states that driving through a bus lane during its operational hours breaches Rule 141 of the Highway Code and could result in a £160 fine in London, or £80 outside of London.

Additionally, drivers could be fined £1,000 for failing to declare certain medical conditions to the DVLA, while individuals risk a fine of up to £1,000 for other violations.

In addition to the risk of fines, drivers with certain medical conditions could face prosecution if they’re involved in an accident due to their condition. The DVLA must be informed by drivers with anxiety if it impairs their driving ability – yet a staggering 85 per cent of drivers are oblivious to this requirement.

Likewise, those who have had a broken limb and are unable to drive for three months must declare it, but 73 per cent of drivers are unaware of this necessity.

Furthermore, over half (55 per cent) of UK drivers could be slapped with a fine for exiting their vehicle while leaving the engine running. According to rule 123 of the Highway Code, this could lead to an £80 Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for idling.

Julie Daniels from Compare the Market’s car insurance team warns: “All drivers must make sure they are aware of the rules of the road in order to prevent any serious incidents occurring. As well as making the road an unsafe environment for everyone, motorists who break the rules could face some hefty fines and penalties.

“In serious cases, this could even lead to being disqualified from driving or sent to prison. Drivers with penalty points or driving convictions may also experience a big hike in car insurance premiums, as insurance providers deem these drivers as high risk. No matter how well you think you know it, I’d recommend all drivers to consistently refresh their knowledge of the Highway Code to ensure they are keeping themselves, and others, safe when behind the wheel.”

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