6 driving laws you may not know about but could land you with a fine

There are a few rules of the road that can catch motorists out and can lead to drivers being handed hefty fines if they break the laws. Most people know not to break speed limits, to obey traffic signals and not to drink before getting behind the wheel – those are pretty straight forward and pretty self-explanatory.

But did you know that, technically, you can be fined £5000 if your pets are not restrained in your car, as you could be deemed to be driving without due care and attention? Motorists could be hit with the same fine if they splash pedestrians by driving through a puddle, too, Chronicle Live reports.

Car leasing specialists Rivervale have highlighted six lesser known driving laws and the potential punishments for breaking them. Some carry their own specific penalties, others can be offences if they are considered to be dangerous or careless driving.

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Here are six driving laws you didn’t know existed and the ones to be aware of the next time you set out on your journey.

Parking the wrong way round at night – £1,000 fine

Next time you park your car on the street at night, make sure it’s pointing the right way, as you could be fined up to £1,000 if you leave your car facing against the direction of traffic.

Rule 248 in 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.” This is because when a car is parked against that traffic flow, there’s no indication to catch the headlights of an approaching vehicle, and therefore, your car may be a potential hazard to the road.

Parked cars in Ashwell Street in Netherfield
Parked cars in Ashwell Street in Netherfield

Unrestrained pets – £5,000 fine

Pets running around in your car could distract you and other motorists. There is a risk you may be charged for driving without due care and attention, which carries a fine of up to £5,000.

Rule 57 in 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. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.” There isn’t a direct penalty for unrestrained pets, however, the risk is that you could be charged for driving without due care if your pet distracts you – and that’s why it’s important to restrain them properly.

Failing to prepare for snow – £60 fine

Hopefully we won’t see any for a while yet, but next time it snows, make sure you remove all the snow and ice from your car.

Rule 229 states “Before you set off you MUST be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows and you MUST ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible.” This means, that next time there’s heavy snowfall, take the time and care to do just that.

Parking on a pavement – £70 fine

While mounting the pavement to park has been illegal in London for 40 years, you can get away with it elsewhere, although there is a consultation on banning it full stop.

Outside of London, if your parking is deemed to be dangerous or obstructs, you can still be fined, as the RAC notes.

Honking your horn – £30 fine

Motorists are supposed to use their horn to alert or warn fellow road users of their presence. But if you’re guilty of hammering the horn when you’ve got road rage, you can be fined.

Rule 112 states “The horn. Use only while your vehicle is moving and you need to warn other road users of your presence. Never sound your horn aggressively. You MUST NOT use your horn:

  • while stationary on the road
  • when driving in a built-up area between the hours of 11.30 pm and 7.00 am
  • except when another road user poses a danger.

While you probably knew you’re not supposed to speed through puddles to splash pedestrians, you may not have known that doing so could end with a £5,000 fine.

In the Road Traffic Act 1988, Section 3, it states “If a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, he is guilty of an offence.” If you’re caught doing this, you could receive 3-9 points on your licence and up to a £5000 fine.

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