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UK driving laws you probably don’t know you’re breaking

Posted on 12/12/2017

There are some driving laws in the UK that we all know: don’t drink and drive, don’t run red lights and don’t speed! However, there are some laws that we see broken every day, many of which we’re also guilty of doing. You could end up with a fine or points on your licence, so here’s a gentle reminder for you…

1. Flashing your headlights to give way
This is probably the most common offence as it’s the universal “I’ll wait here for you” signal. Headlight flashes should only be used to warn other drivers of your presence on the road.

2. Overtaking near a pedestrian crossing
If you’re approaching a pedestrian crossing on a multi-lane road and there’s a stationary car nearby, it is illegal for you to attempt to overtake the car and the car may be concealing a pedestrian!

3. Using your mobile phone as a Sat Nav without having it fixed in place
If you’re using your mobile for directions, then it needs to be fixed in place either on your windscreen or dashboard. It has to be in clear sight whilst you’re driving and using your hands to hold your phone to look at it whilst using the navigation is an offence!

If you’re caught using your mobile phone whilst driving it’s a £200 fine and 6 points on your license. If you’ve just passed your test in the last two years and you’re caught, you could be banned from driving!

Woman in her car using a mobile phone

4. Using the horn between 11:30pm and 7am in a built-up area
We’ve all heard a taxi driver beeping his horn in the street at some point in our lives, but did you know it’s forbidden between the hours of 11:30pm and 7am?

5. …or whilst your car is stationary!
Yep, using your horn whilst you’re stationary is also illegal!

6. Using your hazard lights whilst driving
This is another very common driving offense, as it’s the universal signal for “Thank you!” on the roads. Hazards lights are not to be used to give thanks on the roads, they are supposed to be used only on a motorway or unrestricted dual carriageway to warn drivers behind you of a hazard or obstruction ahead.

7. Parking or driving on the pavement (unless you’re driving into a driveway or property)
If your vehicle is inconveniencing pedestrians then you’re committing an offense. If you’re parked on the pavement and it’s causing an obstruction, you could be issued with a Penalty Notice.

8. Parking on the wrong side of the road at night
This is due to the risk of dazzling other drivers. As you park and leave your car you will be dazzling other drivers and your rear light reflectors won’t be visible.

9. Parking within 10 metres of a junction
Parking near a junction can be dangerous for other road users. It’ll be difficult for those who are approaching the junction as they have to steer around the car and for drivers turning into the junction who risk driving into the car.

10. Leaving your car whilst parked on a yellow line
It’s fine to stop at a yellow line if you’re still sitting at the wheel of your car to let passengers in or out, but you can’t get out of the car yourself and pop into the shops!

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