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Motoring laws you may not know you’ve broken
Legislation to make driving under the influence of drugs a specific offence has been welcomed after it was announced in last week's Queen's speech. It's already widely known that driving after taking banned drugs such as cannabis or cocaine is illegal but did you know that patients on prescription drugs also face prosecution if their driving is impaired by medication?
Nowadays, driving in the UK can feel like being in some sort of Big Brother-style experiment; with speed cameras, congestion charging and CCTV watching your every move.
To stay on the right side of the law, a modern driver needs to be fully aware of the catalogue of potential motoring offences that they might be committing, for the list sometimes seems to be growing by the day.
Here are 10 examples of less common offences that might catch you out:
Warning fellow oncoming motorists
Warning other drivers of a police speed trap could land you with a fine of up to £500. A 64-year-old male motorist from Grimsby helped a fellow driver avoid a potential prosecution and was hit with a fine and costs totalling £440 by magistrates.
Dirty number plate
Number plates that obscure the registration details can lead to a £1,000 fine.
Beeping your horn
Sounding your horn while stationary is illegal, unless to warn a moving vehicle of danger. In fact, you can't use your horn on a residential street from 11.30pm till 7am in any circumstances.
Changing a CD
...or, sipping a hot drink, eating food or doing your make-up while driving could be considered careless or even dangerous.
Pulling over to take a mobile phone call
You may still be considered by police to be 'driving' and therefore breaking the law if the engine is running, even if you are parked at the kerbside. Be safe: park up and switch off or use a hands-free phone.
Playing loud music
Playing loud music, especially with your car windows down, could be regarded as causing a distraction for either yourself or other road users.
Cradling a babe in your arms
As a passenger, holding a baby while the car is moving, even if you are wearing a seatbelt, is unlawful and the driver is responsible. All children must have a 'restraint', such as a booster seat or baby seat, until their 12th birthday or reaching 135cm tall. Travelling in a taxi is an exception.
Being abusive or making rude hand gestures to a fellow road user or pedestrian can be judged inconsiderate, careless or dangerous driving.
'Morning after' drink-drivers
Convictions of motorists who are over the alcohol limit from the previous night are on the rise. Some people who stop drinking alcohol at midnight may still be above legal limits for driving at 4pm the next day - 16 hours later - depending on the amount consumed.
Even beyond these less well-known laws there are numerous motoring myths that can land you in trouble. Inaccurate but commonly-held beliefs, such as the 'two-week leeway for changing a tax disc' or the 10% speed limit discretion, often get motorists fines or points on their licence, which can in turn lead to an outright ban via the totting-up system.
Solicitor Natali Farrell of Just Motor Law said: "It is useful for motorists to refresh themselves of the law by re-reading the Highway Code to avoid some of the myths.''
"Knowing the law can help a motorist avoid breaking it. Some offences are less clear-cut than say, speeding, and open to interpretation, which means there may be scope to challenge on several grounds."
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Regarding warning oncoming motorists of a speed trap
Surely it cant be an offence to prevent a crime being committed
Remember people, clean your car everyday so your number play doesn't get dirty, disconnect your horn, don't wave at someone you know if you've passed a speed trap, listen to the same songs over and over again, that way you remember the lyrics, don't play your music loud it might hurt your hearing and if someone annoys you whilst driving, just wave and say thank you, invite them round for tea and cakes and then wish them a pleasent onward travel.
If you cradle a babe, well that just dam right stupidity anyway so I have nothing to say with regards to that.
And remember if you do drink drive be careful not to spill any. What a waste that would be.
Seriously some of the laws in the country are a load of B....cks!!!
'As a passenger, holding a baby while the car is moving, even if you are wearing a seatbelt, is unlawful and the driver is responsible.'
No dung Sherlock. If baby needs comforting stop and call ahead, why would you risk the life of your child?
'Travelling in a taxi is an exception.'
Why is this the case? Taxi drivers are no safer than any other so why shouldn't you be required to make your child safe in a taxi as if your own car. I guess that would be the same as why don't bus passengers have to wear seatbelts or drivers have to wait for you to be seated safely.
Oops. I may have occasionally told car drivers to get something more in keeping with their driving ability, like a bus pass on occasions. I will confess that when on bike I do take it rather badly when someone is dangerously stupid nearby. Sorry to stereotype but usually in soft roaders, on the phone or of course both.
How is it if you watch police series see them driving and using a radio,whats the difference to a mobile.One law for one, one law for joe public.
I remember when the most dangerous thing you could do was match cross ply tires with radial tyres.
When you were more likely to be killed by a seatbelt, than saved by one.
When the speed limit was based on how fast your could go.
Trusting that your car had done the journey enough times to remember the way home, then waking up in bed.
Keeping the back seat cleaner than the front.
I am a bit of a loud mouth in the real world and have been known to point out to members of our police farce when they are breaking the laws it is their job to uphold or simply behaving inconsiderately or disrespectfully. They want respect they have to earn it same as anyone else. Ever so popular me, as you can imagine.
So yes I totally agree with you. When the blues are on and they are travelling at pace I give them all the room to pass I can safely, they do save lives everyday. When not they are just another car driver and should set a good example.
1) Most people dont realise that nearly all court judgements in the UK are written out BEFORE the hearing has even taken place, ie fiddled,. The law is not real, it is just there to stop the masses committing anarchy and making the majority THINK that we have justice ( a myth) in England .
The reality is our legal system appears to be one of the most corrupt in the world.
2) The pensioner who was fined for warning of a speed trap , should have appealed or employed a solicitor, instead of representing himself.
3) Anyone who tries the straw man crap or not attending summons ,etc. will end up like the Pensioner in 2) with a fine , or worse in Prison and and or made homeless.
"Its a Statute not Law", is the best news I have heard this year. The Human rights Act is therfore not a Law (common Law) so there is nothing to stop us sending illegal immigrants back to their country of origin.
We can happily send alleged criminals back to be tried in the courts of other countries.
We don't even have to pay benefits and house anyone of working age if they refuse and are capable to work.
So when is a Law not a Law?
There are places you can go with no speed limits and have a great time driving flat out until your heart is content. They are called race tracks and most have days when the public can use them.
I thoroughly enjoyed blasting around one on my bike years ago and was able to play in a manner that would have endangered many innocents if I did so on the road.
Roads are not designed to be fun, they are designed to enable you to get from one point to another. Sorry to burst your bubble. Race tracks however are totally the opposite, as you end up where you start but they are laid out to be pure driving or riding pleasure.
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