July 19, 2019 at 3:46 PM
It’s usually pretty obvious when a driving offence is illegal – for example, we all know that driving over the speed limit is against the law. However, there are some driving offences that many road users are unaware of. So we have put together a list of 10 driving offences that you may not know are illegal, to help you make sure you aren’t committing any of them.
1. Parking within ten metres of a junction – if you park too close to a junction it is dangerous for other drivers, and so it is illegal.
2. Using your phone as a satnav in an unfixed position – the law preventing you from using your mobile phone whilst driving specifically refers to using a hand-held mobile to follow a map. If you want to use your phone as a satnav, it must be fixed to the windscreen or dashboard, so it can be used without you holding it.
3. Overtaking at a pedestrian crossing – if you are coming up to a crossing as the lights turn green and you decide to overtake the car that has stopped you are committing an offence. Overtaking the car nearest to the pedestrian crossing is illegal for the simple fact that they may be concealing a pedestrian, and so it is dangerous.
4. Sleeping in your car whilst inebriated – if you’ve been drinking, you obviously won’t be driving anywhere. You may think you can just sleep in the car, however this can leave you at risk of being charged with a crime, as being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst inebriated is an offence – even if you aren’t driving it!
5. Using the horn at night in a built-up area – using your car’s horn between 11:30pm and 7am in a built-up area is illegal, and could land you with a charge.
6. Flashing your lights to give way – it’s a common signal to allow other drivers past, but if an accident resulted from it you could be charged with an offence. Headlight flashes should only be used to warn other drivers of your presence on the road.
7. Driving on the pavement – unless you are turning into a driveway, driving on the pavement is illegal. The Highway Code states that you cannot park even partly on the pavement unless a road sign permits it, and so doing so is an offence.
8. Parking on the wrong side of the road at night – this is a driving offence and could get you a penalty, as you can dazzle other drivers whilst parking and leaving, and your rear light reflectors won’t be visible once you’ve left the car.
9. Letting animals out of the car whilst broken-down on the hard shoulder – if you have the misfortune of breaking down, the Highway Code states that you must leave any animals in the vehicle whilst on the hard shoulder. If an accident happens, you could be charged for allowing your animal on the hard shoulder!
10. Driving over 50mph in a van on a single carriageway road – this is a rule that many people don’t know about, but vans that aren’t car-derived are not allowed to exceed 50mph on single carriageways, 60mph on dual carriageways, and 70mph on motorways.
It’s important that you drive safely and responsibly, and this includes being aware of all of the laws of the road. We hope that this short guide has helped inform you of some of the lesser known driving offences, and to make sure you are always abiding by the law it’s recommended that you brush up on the Highway Code regularly!