Knowing the laws surrounding driving will not only keep you safe but also your passengers and other motorists. With Car Servicing in Milton Keynes you can be confident that your vehicle is safe to drive at all times. Moreover, staying clued in on driving laws will also help you avoid prosecution and hefty fines.
Keeping up to date with driving laws
Looking at The Highway Code will tell you everything you need to know about driving laws, and if you haven’t read it for a while, you may be missing out on some crucial changes. Whether you are a learner driver or have been driving for years, the law affects everyone and following it accordingly will make the roads safer and prevent you from receiving penalty points on your license or getting fined.
Learner drivers on the motorway
Since June 4th, learner drivers have been able to take driving lessons on the motorway. Previously, motorway lessons were only available for individuals after they had passed their test and had opted to participate in the Pass Plus scheme.
Having learners be accompanied by a qualified driving instructor on the motorway will make the roads safer. Before this new law, new drivers were using the motorways unaccompanied after passing their test, which caused a potential threat due to their lack of knowledge on how to drive on a motorway. However, now this law is in place, learner drivers can:
- Practise driving at higher speeds
- Understand how to join and leave the motorway
- Experience how to use lanes and overtake correctly
- Improve their confidence of driving on the motorway
Even if you are not a learner driver, this law is vital to be aware of so you know what to expect when driving on the motorway and understand not everyone will be very experienced.
Phone and Sat Nav penalties
Harsher laws regarding phones and sat navs can result in you getting six penalty points and a £200 fine. If you have passed your driving test in the last two years, you could even lose your license. The law is pretty simple; you can be penalised if you touch your sat nav or phone while driving, even if it is fixed in a car mount holder.
You can only use your phone when you are safely parked, or you need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency, and it would otherwise be dangerous or impractical to stop.
The best way to avoid getting fined or points on your license for this offence is to make sure your route is planned out and ready before you set off on your journey. If you find you need to make a call or reroute once you are driving, pull over and park where appropriate and continue when you are ready.
Smoking in vehicles
It has now been made illegal to smoke in any vehicle where someone under the age of 18 is present. The penalty for this offence could cost the driver and the smoker a £50 fine. If you are parked and smoking with the door open, this is still breaking the law.
The reason for this law is to increase awareness and decrease the risk of secondhand smoke. By breathing in secondhand smoke, you are exposed to thousands of chemicals which can heighten the risk of developing severe health conditions, including cancer. The effects of secondhand smoke put a strain on the NHS as it increases GP visits and hospital admissions.
Smoking in your car does not only have the potential to cause health implications but can also decrease your car’s resale value. Smoking tobacco in a confined space causes pollutants to be absorbed by the fabric in the seats, carpet and can even build up in the ventilation. Having a car which has a lingering smell of cigarettes is very offputting to potential buyers and means you will have to sell your vehicle at a lower price.
As of April 2018, drivers can be subject to an on-the-spot fine of £150 if they or any passenger is caught littering. This punishment arose due to littering costing councils £680 million a year in Britain. Not only is littering bad for the environment, it can also cause an accident on the road if a motorist attempts to swerve around litter in their way.
No one likes having a cluttered car, but instead of throwing your unwanted rubbish out the window, a car bin is a perfect solution. This way you will not have to litter but can still keep your car clean and organised.
Flashing your headlights
According to Rule 110 of the highway code, you should not flash your headlights for any other reason than to alert drivers of your presence. Currently, there are no fixed penalties for this offence; however, drivers flashing their lights to notify other motorists of a speed camera can be subject to a £1000 fine and, in extreme cases, a one-month prison sentence.
According to Section 22 of The Road Traffic Act, if you are to leave your car in a position that could potentially cause injury or danger to other people using the road, you are committing an offence. If your vehicle is obstructing the footpath, you can cause great inconvenience to pedestrians, visually impaired or disabled individuals and people with pushchairs.
If you park on a pavement in London, you can expect to receive a £70 fine, so it is worth taking the time to find a suitable and safe place to park before leaving your vehicle.
Since 2016, Highways England issued out over 80,000 warning letters to motorists who had broken smart motorway laws. A third of these warnings were issued to drivers who ignored closed lane warnings and proceeded to drive in them. To combat this issue, the Home Office is using cameras on smart motorways to identify drivers misusing the hard shoulder. Misusing motorway offences can fall under the following categories:
- Driving without due care and attention
- Dangerous/Reckless driving
The consequence for driving without due care and attention carries a penalty of three to nine points, while dangerous driving can earn you up to 11 points. Generally, an on-the-spot fine of £100 and three penalty points are issued to drivers caught misusing the motorway. However, this fine can increase to £2,500 depending on the incident’s nature and severity.
Know your driving laws
The importance of knowing your driving laws cannot be understated. No matter how much of an experienced driver you are, if you do not regularly educate yourself on the law, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble.