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Obscure driving offences

We all know it’s illegal to drink and drive or exceed the speed limit, but there are some less-obvious driving offences you might not be aware of.

Dirty number plates As grit and grime build up on the roads during winter, it’s virtually impossible to keep your car clean and shiny. And sure, most drivers take the time to regularly clear their windscreen and windows, but did you know you’re obliged to keep your number plates clean too? If your number plate is obscured or allowed to become not easily distinguishable, then you could be fined up to £1,000! Want to avoid that fine? it can be as easy as keeping a cloth in your boot to give that number plate a quick spruce up before heading on your journey.

Eating at the wheel So, you’re driving along when hunger strikes. No problem drive-thru saves the day! And as usual you’re in a rush, so you grab the goodies, stuff the bag between your knees and drive off – the ultimate fast food. The only problem is that your tasty treat could come with a side order of penalty points – because if you’re seen to be driving without due care and attention, you could receive a fixed penalty notice. Luckily in the UK we have a lot of motorways and, with that, service stations, so take a break! With endless food choices, take a seat to enjoy that food we all love and crave.

Honk honk Who hasn’t tooted the driver in front to politely let them know the traffic lights have changed to green? You have? The Highway Code states that you should only use your horn when your vehicle is moving and you need to warn other road users of your presence. So, unless there is imminent danger, you shouldn’t use your horn while stationary or when driving in a built-up area between 11.30 pm and 7.00 am.

Splashing pedestrians It’s a classic slapstick scene… a car drives through a muddy puddle and soaks a queue of people waiting at a bus stop. But if the event is spotted, the driver won’t be laughing, because splashing pedestrians is considered careless and inconsiderate driving. If it’s considered to be avoidable then the driver can be fined up to £5,000. So keep your eyes peeled for any pedestrians and avoid those puddles!

An empty screenwash bottle Who knew: it’s breaking the rules to drive with an empty windscreen washer bottle? Now that may sound a little harsh, but it actually makes good sense – because if your windscreen gets spattered with road grime and your view becomes obscured, you could become a danger to other road users. So check your levels before you leave, that quick five-minute job will be worth it when you can smugly pull the lever to clear away the grime, and enjoy the crystal clear view before you!

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