The Christmas countdown has begun; Michael Bublé is out of his cave and the radio’s playing all your favourite festive hits.
But motorists are being warned not to sing along too enthusiastically. In fact, driving home for Christmas with the radio blaring could lead to fines of up to £5,000.
Penalties for driving with loud music, or singing too loudly behind the wheel are issued under ‘careless driving’ laws.
Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, motorists can be punished by law for failing to drive “without due care and attention”.
Careless driving law restricts a number of behaviours, including listening to loud music and failing to keep your hands on the steering wheel.
Mark Tongue, director of Select Car Leasing, explains the dangers of drivers singing in the car.
He said: “Listening to music in your car is one thing, but if you’re singing loudly, dancing in your seat and generally getting into the groove, then you’re at risk of being distracted from the job at hand – which is keeping your eyes on the road.
“If there’s evidence – either dashcam footage or testimony from a police officer – that you were dancing and singing prior to an accident, you could ultimately be prosecuted for dangerous driving or driving without due care and attention.”
As well as the hefty fines, a careless driving conviction can see you slapped with nine points on your licence.
Loud music could lead to a number of unintended driving offences, including running red lights.
Drivers also risk missing the presence of emergency vehicles, or the warning horns of other drivers.
Failing to give way to an ambulance or other emergency vehicles such as a doctor’s car, fire engine or police car is punishable by fines of up to £1,000 and three penalty points.
It is important for motorists to be aware of passing traffic and warning sirens at all times on the road.
Need help keeping safe on the roads? Here are the best bits of in-car tech to help make your driving safer.