Top 10 driving offences you didn’t know were against the law

Did you know it's illegal to splash a pedestrian with your car?

With so many driving laws to remember, it’s safe to say some of us need reminding every now and then.

But then there are also some offences that most drivers don’t even know exist — offences that they could unknowingly commit every day.

To help keep you safe on the roads, and on the right side of the law, here are the top 10 driving offences that you didn’t even know were illegal.

1. Paying with your phone at the drive-thru

If you’re paying for your cheeseburger and fries using an app on your phone, you could be risking an on-the-spot fine of £200 and six penalty points.

That’s because it’s against the law to use your phone behind the wheel even if you’re paying at the drive-thru.

Use cash or cards instead and swerve a hefty fine.

2. Sleeping off a heavy night

Thinking about sleeping off a night on the town in your car until you’re sober enough to drive home? Think again. If the police catch you they could well report you for being inebriated while ‘in charge’ of your vehicle, even if you’re not actually driving.

If that’s not bad enough, the chances are you’ll also still be over the limit the morning after, so ditch the car completely and take a taxi home.

3. Beeping your horn at night

Between the hours of 23:30 and 07:00 it’s actually illegal to use your car horn if you’re in a built-up area.

That means no more quick beeps of the horn to say goodbye to friends or family at the end of a long evening because if the police catch you, they could well charge you.

4. Flashing your headlights at other cars

This is an offence if your headlight flashing causes an accident and you’re found at fault.

What’s more, flash your headlights as a warning to other motorists about an upcoming speed trap and you could be fined up to £1,000 as police take a dim view of this behaviour.

5. Hogging the middle lane

Most people might see this as simply a motorway annoyance but staying in the middle lane when it’s safe to drive in the left-hand lane is actually an offence.

Police forces have recently started cracking down on offenders, with those caught facing a £100 fine and three penalty points.

6. Driving too slowly

Everyone knows that speeding is illegal, but it’s also an offence to drive too slowly.

Department for Transport figures show that over 140 crashes every year are caused by motorists traveling too slowly, which can be particularly hazardous on higher-speed routes like motorways.

Offenders face fines of up to £1,000 and a whopping nine penalty points.

7. Overtaking at a crossing

If you’re approaching a pedestrian crossing on a dual carriageway and the light turns green, you shouldn’t use your extra momentum to pass any cars waiting at the lights.

This could cause a serious accident as the waiting cars could be concealing pedestrians on the crossing, so slow down and wait for the car ahead to go first.

8. Parking too close to a turning

It’s an offence to park within 10m of a junction as it can severely reduce visibility at the turning and cause accidents if motorists have to drive on the wrong side of the road to get around your car. So, stay safe and park further up the road instead.

9. Having a dirty number plate

The build-up of dust and dirt on your number plate is inevitable, but if you let the grime make your number plate unreadable you could face a fine of up to £1,000 and your car could fail its MOT.

So, keep it clean and steer clear of an unwanted fine.

10. Splashing pedestrians

Anyone who’s ever been left soaked by a thoughtless motorist will be pleased to know that it’s actually illegal to splash pedestrians.

It falls under the category of ‘driving without due care or consideration’ and comes with a maximum fine of £5,000 should your case go to court.

To keep up to date with all the driving laws that could affect you, make sure you visit 1ST Central’s Hub for all things related to the rules of the road.

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