10 highway code rules you might not know

Think you know the highway code well? Here are some offences that you might not have known about!

1. Flashing your lights to let another vehicle go

Flashing your lights to indicate to another vehicle they can go in front of you is actually a no-go in the highway code, as there is potential for confusion. If the light flash results in an accident or collision it is considered a driving offence and could have you face a minimum of a £30 fine.

 2. Paying at a drive-through using your mobile phone

With the introduction of Apple and Android pay, people are using their phones more and more to make purchases, including when paying for food and drinks at drive-throughs. However, it is illegal to use your phone while driving and even when you are sat in your car with the engine on. If you do want to pay using your phone in a drive-through, you must make sure your engine is off, and your handbrake is on. If you do not do this, then you could face a maximum fine of £1,000 or six points on your license.

3. Parking on the wrong side of the road at night

Many people are unaware that you are meant to park on the same side of the flow of traffic. Parking on the opposite side with the front of your car facing ongoing traffic could run a risk of your lights dazzling other drivers. Your rear light reflectors are also not visible when parked this way, which could increase the chance of a car colliding with yours.

 4. Having a dirty number plate

It is the law that your car must have registered number plates on it at all times when driving. What some people don't know is that it must also be able to be read too. Having a dirty number plate can obstruct this and render it unreadable, which can get you a find of up to £1,000.

5. Letting your pet out of the car in the event of a breakdown

When you have broken down and are waiting for assistance, you are told to exit the vehicle and wait for help well away from the road. However, not many people know that it is actually illegal to allow an animal out of the car with you in case of it becoming spooked and escaping onto the road causing an accident. In summer this can be an issue for pet owners, but it is still the law and not complying could lead you to a hefty fine.

6. Beeping your horn at night

Beeping your horn in a residential area at night is not very courteous and can be an annoyance to those who live there, but it is also illegal. Unless you are warning other drivers of your presence, you are not allowed to beep your horn between 11:30 pm and 7 am in a built-up area, or you could face a penalty.

7. Splashing pedestrians with puddles

In England, it rains a lot, which unfortunately means that often pedestrians are splashed by vehicles driving past them. It is actually illegal for a car to splash a pedestrian and you could face a fine of anything from £100 to £5,000!

 8. Undertaking 

It can be incredibly tempting to undertake someone when they are going slower than you want and hogging the fast lane. However, it is a criminal offence to do so, as it is a dangerous manoeuvre and could course an accident or collision, so you could find yourself in court if you are caught doing so.

9. Driving too slowly 

There is a lot of emphasis on not driving too quickly and not going over the speed limit, however not as many people know that driving too slowly is also an offence. It can put you and others in danger, and according to the Department for Transport, there are roughly 140 accidents caused a year by slow drivers. Although there isn't a minimum speed limit on most of the UK roads, driving too slowly can be a punishable offence as it is considered hazardous to other motorists. The maximum penalty for slow driving could be as much as nine points on your licence and an unlimited fine.

10. Driving with snow on your roof

England doesn’t get a lot of snow in the year, which means a lot of motorists don’t know the rules for driving in these conditions. The highway code says that you must have a clear view of the road when driving in adverse weather conditions, which most people know. However, not a lot of motorists know that you need to clear the snow off of your roof as well as your windows as it can be dangerous to other drivers by falling off when you drive and hit their windscreens, obstructing their view of the roads.

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