Driving Myth Buster: Part 2
Is splashing pedestrians just plain obnoxious, or is it actually illegal?
Last week we tackled some of the most frequently asked questions concerning driving myths. This week we’re tackling more facts. Or are they just fiction?
Can I drive with my dog in the car?
Short answer? Yes. Just make sure they’re restrained and not distracting you. Failure to do so could result in a £100 on the spot fine.
Rule 57 of 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.”
Is it illegal to drive in sunglasses?
This is a tricky one. You can get in trouble with the law if you’re wearing the wrong sunglasses, but also for forgetting them entirely!
Wearing sunglasses in bright conditions is not a legal requirement, but if you are dazzled by the sun without them, you could be slapped with a careless driving charge. Taking your eyes off the road could lead to you driving without due are and attention which carries a £100 on-the-spot fine.
However, it is illegal to wear super dark sunnies while driving. You’re not allowed to drive in category four lenses which only transmit between three and eight percent of light. Stick to category 2 lenses behind the wheel and leave category four for hitting the slopes and looking cool at après.
Is it illegal to splash pedestrians with puddles?
Don’t be that person! Not only is driving through a puddle to splash nearby pedestrians totally rude, it can also be classified as a criminal offence! If it’s decided that you were driving without reasonable considerations for other persons, you could face three penalty points plus a fine of up to £5000!
Is there really a 10% allowance for speeding?
Apparently the 10% rule applies to everything from essay word count limits, to speed limits. But is that really the case? We can’t vouch for your word count, but it’s not necessarily true for speeding.
Police officers are recommended to give drivers leeway before booking them for speeding. This is usually 10% over the speed limit plus 2mph. However, this is down to their discretion which means they’re totally within their rights to give you a ticket for going 32 in a 30 zone.
Is it illegal to drive with the light on in a car?
Who else’s parents told them that it’s illegal to turn on the lights in the car? We would say that too to stop kids playing with the lights! Contrary to popular belief, there is actually no law against this in the UK. However, if police believe the interior light is affecting your driving, they can ask you to switch it off.
Can I drive other cars if I have fully comp insurance?
If you’re under 25? Probably not. The driving other cars, or DOC, extension is a benefit included in some car insurance policies. DOC allows you to drive another person’s car, with the owner’s permission and be covered by your own insurance policy. However most insurance providers require you to be at least 25 years old and meet other criteria to have this benefit.
Is it illegal to adjust my satnav while driving?
You should not adjust your sat-nav while driving. Sat navs have to be a in a fixed position on either your dashboard or windscreen. This included using your phone as a sat nav. The dashboard is the best option as it won’t impede your vision.
If a speed camera doesn’t flash, does it mean I haven’t been caught?
No, no, no! There are loads of different types of speed cameras and only the Gatso type (the big yellow ones) flash when they take your photo. Others use infra red light to catch you speeding. The only way to avoid a speeding conviction is to stick to the speed limits!
Is coasting illegal?
Coasting is when you disengage the engine, by depressing the clutch or leaving the car in neutral, to move without using power. When you do this the car is essentially free wheeling.
Although coasting itself is not illegal, in can be dangerous and could lead to prosecution in some circumstances. If you were involved in an accident while coasting, it could be deemed that you had a lack of control over the vehicle. It’s also bad for your car and can cause the bakes to wear faster.
Will I get fined if I run out petrol on the motorway?
Running out of fuel on the motorway is not illegal, but it is irresponsible and potentially dangerous. You could definitely find yourself slapped with a fine if you are brought to halt due to your lack of fuel on a motorway. To avoid finding yourself in a dangerous situation on a high speed motorway, remember to make sure you have enough fuel in the car before your journey!
Is it illegal to drive with a broke wing mirror?
According to the Constructions and Use Regulations 1986, all vehicles must have at least two mirrors, unless they were first used before 1st August 1978. It’s legal to drive without a passenger side wing mirror, but you must have a rear view mirror, driver side wing mirror. However it is not advisable to drive with a smashed or missing wing mirror as hazards may be difficult to see. If the rear –view mirror is blocked, you must have two wing mirrors. You must ensure you are always able to see clearly behind you.
Is it illegal to sleep in your car?
The answer to this one is sometimes. Long journeys can be tiring and it’s best to plan enough rest stops that you won’t need to sleep in your car. You can sleep in your car as long as you:
• Are not under the influence of drink or drugs
• Are legally parked in a safe location and not a hazard for other road users.
This means that you can’t pull into the hard shoulder for a nap on the motorway, you’ll have to wait for the next service station. Just make sure you don’t overstay the free parking!
Is it illegal to drive with no screenwash?
Technically every vehicle fitted with a windscreen wiper but have a washer with a few exceptions including agricultural vehicles. As a motorist it is your responsibility to ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy, which includes checking screen wash levels.
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