Are you breaking these five unusual driving laws?
As a driver, you'll have mastered the basics when it comes to driving laws. However, there are some more unusual rules you may be unaware of – rules you could, in fact, be breaking without even realising.
To save you getting caught out and receiving a fine and penalty points on your licence, here are five less common rules to be aware of:
1. Splashing pedestrians
Firstly, no driver should intentionally soak unsuspecting pedestrians by speeding through a puddle – it's cruel and inconsiderate. As the RAC explains, splashing a person deliberately could land you with a £100 fixed penalty notice, but this can rise to £5,000 if you're caught driving in a manner that 'amounts to a clear act of incompetence, selfishness, impatience and aggressiveness.'
2. Flashing your headlights to warn of speed cameras
There are a number of situations where drivers flash their headlights, for instance, to let a driver out of a junction, to warn others of a speed camera, or to vent frustration on another driver. But the Highway Code states: 'Only flash your headlights to let other road users know you are there. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users.' You might think you're doing other drivers a favour making them aware of a speed camera, but it'll be at your expense: you'll be fined up to £1,000 if caught.
3. Mounting the kerb in London
Parking on the pavement can pose a serious risk to pedestrians, particularly when they're forced to walk out into the road in order to pass the car. While some narrow roads might lead you to consider driving your car onto the kerb, avoid doing so in London, where it's been illegal for over 40 years. There is talk of rolling the law out UK-wide, with £70 fines for offenders.
4. Letting your dog roam free in the car
Ever allowed your pet pooch to travel up front with you? They may be great company, but allowing them to roam free in your car could see you receive a £5,000 fine. To quote the Highway Code: 'When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly.' Guards, cages, seat belt harnesses and dog carriers are all methods of restraining dogs safely while you're on the move.
5. Shifting snow from your car
If this winter is a white one, chances are you'll be spending some mornings clearing snow and scraping ice from your car. Failure to clear snow off your roof is considered a danger, as it could fall onto your windscreen and obstruct your view of the road ahead. You could end up with a £60 fine and up to three points on your licence.
Get to grips with these less common rules and you could save yourself from receiving hefty fines and penalty points. Remember, if you get any penalty points, you must inform your insurer.