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DRIVING RULES WE WERE TOLD AS KIDS : FACT OR FICTION ?
The LeaseCar . uk team have remembered four common sayings parents often preach to their kids while they ’ re driving , to reveal if they ’ re grounded in any truth or if Brits are just misinformed on simple road rules . These are quips many people will have gone on to use with their own children now - but surprisingly much of it isn ’ t actually backed up by the law .
Tim Alcock from Lease- Car . uk said : “ Gentle threats of police intervention were often enough to get you to behave on journeys , but it ’ s interesting to learn that most of the rules we looked at aren ’ t actually backed by specific laws and are more a matter of safety .”
“ Don ’ t put your feet on the dashboard !”
There is no law against sitting with your feet on the dashboard , but it is incredibly dangerous . An x-ray circulated the internet at the start of the year showing exactly why you shouldn ’ t put your feet on the dash . The horrifying X-ray shows the pelvis of a front seat passenger who was resting her feet on the dash in a moving car when it was involved in a crash . One hip is completely dislocated while the other is broken . Reports also suggest she suffered several other fractures to her legs . So , whilst you may not have to face legal repercussions for driving with your feet up , it could be a life altering mistake .
“ Don ’ t lie across the backseats !”
This one isn ’ t so straightforward . If you ’ re able to lay across the seats whilst still wearing a seatbelt , there ’ s nothing to suggest that this is an outright criminal offence . It is , however , rather dangerous . If you were involved in a collision whilst lying across the backseats , the seatbelt would probably not support and protect you as it was designed to do . If you lie across the backseat with no seatbelt on , you can be fined up to £ 500 .
“ Don ’ t turn the interior lights on while we ’ re driving !”
The Highway Code does not say anything about being unable to drive with the interior light on , and there is no direct law prohibiting it . However , there are a few caveats to the rule . When turned on , the light must not distract the driver or shine out of the back windscreen to obstruct the view of anyone that is travelling in a vehicle behind . So , if you were pulled over by a police officer who deemed your interior light to be a driving distraction , they ’ d have the right to tell you to turn it off .
there is no law against sitting with your feet on the dashboard , but it is incredibly dangerous
“ Don ’ t turn the music up too loud !”
This is one rule that is actually justified . Listening to loud music is illegal if it ’ s disturbing other people on a regular basis or if it ’ s causing you to drive erratically . UK laws dictate the punishment varies depending on whether you ’ re parked up or driving along as dealing with drivers pumping out tunes falls between the local authority and the police . In the worstcase scenario , traffic cops can stop and seize a vehicle that is causing alarm , distress or annoyance to members of the public . Police can also issue onthe-spot fines to drivers who have custom exhausts or noisy engines .
DECEMBER 2020 | 39
When you should and shouldn ’ t use hazard lights in the UK
Driving experts from LeaseVan . co . uk have explained when motorists should and shouldn ’ t use hazard lights to ensure they avoid penalties , prevent accidents , and comply with the Highway Code .
And , while there is no set penalty or fine for driving with the hazards on , LeaseVan . co . uk claim they could contribute to you being charged with a separate offence . Using hazards incorrectly could see motorists charged with driving without due care and attention , which could result in a £ 100 fine and three penalty points .
A spokesperson said : “ While it is nice to say thank you , the overuse of hazard lights may lead to them not being recognised when a real situation develops . Your hazard warning lights are , quite simply , a way to warn other road users that there is danger ahead .”
Dos Tell danger
According to Rule 116 of the Highway Code , drivers can use hazard lights to convey danger when stopped to indicate to other road users that the driver ’ s vehicle is ‘ obstructing traffic ’. Possible reasons are if there ’ s been an accident or there ’ s an obstacle in the road to move before you proceed . And they should only be used for long enough to ensure that the warning has been observed .
Drivers should always make sure they turn on their hazard warning lights if broken down , even if technically out of the way of other traffic such as on the hard shoulder or in a lay-by . If both these conditions apply , drivers may stick hazard lights on — but again , only for as long as it takes to make sure your warning has been seen .
One common example of legitimately using hazard lights when driving is if the driver suddenly comes upon a queue on the motorway . In this instance , hazards will let others know that the driver is braking sharply , and help them to apply their brakes in good time , to prevent them from crashing and causing a pile-up .
Don ’ ts Saying Thank You
Hazard lights shouldn ’ t be used on the move unless driving at speed and there ’ s a need to warn of a hazard to road users behind . Often Brits say thank you through flashing the hazards , but when wanting to thank other motorists , a simple wave of the hand is enough .
Motorists should never use their hazard lights when driving slowly and looking for a turning . The car ’ s indicators will not work with the hazard lights on , so nobody will be able to tell if and where the driver intends to turn . For example , if a driver turns right with the hazards on as another vehicle attempts an overtake , the consequences could be catastrophic .
We ’ ve all probably witnessed vehicles parked on double yellow lines using their hazards — almost as an excuse for doing do . However , the Highway Code warns against this sort of behaviour , and using them to tell others of the illegal parking is no excuse and is unlikely to prevent the driver from getting a parking ticket
Highway Code Rule 116 has something to say about using hazards on a car being towed : “ You must not use hazard warning lights while driving or being towed unless you are on a motorway or unrestricted dual carriageway and you need to warn drivers behind you of a hazard or obstruction ahead .”