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Seven common mistakes drivers make – weird rules and laws that could land you a fine of up to £5,000


THERE are so many rules and regulations that you need to remember while driving on the roads – and some you might not even be aware of.

While motor offences like speeding, drink-driving and not wearing a seatbelt are obvious no-no’s.

The seven lesser-known driving rules in te UK that could land you a fine

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The seven lesser-known driving rules in te UK that could land you a fine

Some mistakes and rules can be quite forgettable and land you with a hefty fine and points on your licence.

We take a look at the seven driving rules that can land you in trouble – and the list might contain some surprises.

Dirty number plate 

If your number plate is covered in snow, ice or dirt and becomes unreadable it can get you in trouble with the police. 

Driving laws in the UK state under the 2001 Road Vehicle Regulations it is an offence to drive with a registration plate that can’t be read.

As Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPN) technology is used to tell if your motor is registered, has valid insurance and if it has passed its MOT or not. 

So before you set off on the roads, make sure that your registration plate is visible for everyone to see. 

Failing to do so can land you with a £1,000 fine.

Turn off the engine if you’re not in motion 

It makes sense to not have the car engine running when you’re not moving.

This will not only save your petrol, but can also cut down on fumes, and will save you cash in the long run. 

But it is also illegal to keep your engine on if you’re waiting for someone and are stationary in the car.

Doing so could see you slapped with a £40 fine – which can double to £80.

A lot of newer cars automatically switch off the engine while the car is not in motion. 

The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations of 1986 states: “The driver of a vehicle shall, when the vehicle is stationary, stop the action of any machinery attached to or forming part of the vehicle so far as may be necessary for the prevention of noise.”

The only exception is if you are stuck in traffic, when you can keep your engine on to save you stopping and starting.

But, if you’re just waiting for someone, it is illegal to keep your engine on.

The rule advise turning the engine off while you wait – it’s better for your pocket and the environment too.

Leaving snow on the car roof

While it isn’t illegal to leave snow on the car roof, it can obstruct your view if it falls onto your windscreen – and that IS a problem.

It’s illegal to drive with your vision obscured or anything blocking your windscreen.

The snow could also pose a risk to other motorists if it lands on their vehicle and causes an accident. 

The risk could see you charged with driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition as well as hit with a fine of £60 and three points on your driver’s licence. 

Make sure to clear any snow left on your car before setting off on the roads to avoid any accidents. 

Blocking emergency services

We all know to give way to any emergency services vehicles on the roads. 

But did you know failing to do so could land you with a fine of up to £5,000? 

Of course, you’ll still need to keep safe if you spot a fire engine, police car or ambulance heading towards your direction

Don’t go through a red traffic light or drive into a bus lane to get out of the way, for example.

This can also land you with a fine for a minor traffic offence. 

The only time you can do so is if you’re instructed to by a police officer. 

Parking the wrong way

Turns out, parking the wrong way is a lesser-known rule in the UK too.

Motorists can face fines of up to £2,500 for how they park at night.

Rule 248 of The Highway Code states: “You must not park on a road at night facing against the direction of the traffic flow unless in a recognised parking space.”

That means motors must sure their vehicle is parked the way the traffic flows – but only at night.

This is because rear reflectors will be lit up by passing car headlights and could be a distraction or even cause an accident.  

The rule only applies to parking on the road and not parking spaces that are drawn out though.

You don’t have to worry about this during the day, but if you fall foul of the rule fines range from £1,000 up to £2,500 for goods vehicles or those carrying eight or more people. 

Driving with pets

If you are taking your pet to the vet or on a pet-friendly holiday, remember to strap them in.

A dog may look cute with its head hanging out the window, but it’ss illegal to drive with your pet roaming in the car.

Rule 57 of the Highway Code states, “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.

There are a number of safe options owners can use for their pets including a seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard.

Failing to restrain your pet can cause accidents or near misses, not to mention land you with a £100 penalty fine and three points on your licence. 

If the case is taken to court, this can increase to £5,000 and a maximum of nine penalty points. 

Here’s how to avoid fine with this nifty satnav phone trick and drivers and dog owners could be hit with heft fines if they don’t follow rules on the road

We also look at major changes for drivers as road fine set to be increased to £160 and the red routes explained

How to avoid £1,000 driving fine with satnav phone trick

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