January 20, 2020

10 driving offences you may not know are illegal

driving offences

Many driving offences are clearly defined, for example breaking the speed limit or crossing a solid white line to overtake a vehicle. There are other driving offences however that you may not be aware of, you may even be committing some of these without even knowing, Vansdirect reveals 10 driving offences you may not know are illegal so that you watch out for them!

1. Driving faster than 50mph in a van on a single carriageway road

You may want to check out our blog on van speed limits for more in depth information, however a general rule of thumb for vans that are not car derived is speed limits which amount to: 50mph on single carriageways, 60mph on dual carriageways, 70mph on motorways.

2. Using your horn between 11.30pm and 7am in built up areas

This may be something that you feel taxi drivers are guilty of, beeping their horns late at night, however this is actually illegal. This also includes a short beep when waving bye to your family before your early morning trip to work.

3. Driving on the pavement unless turning into a driveway

The Highway Code states in Rule 244 that you must not park fully or even partly on the pavement unless road signs permit it. This could well be the most common rule to be broken from the Highway Code and if you’re parked in such a manner to hinder pedestrians then you are causing a driving offence.

4. Parking within 10 metres of a junction

Parking your van or car too close to a junction inconveniences everyone, those approaching that junction have to steer to avoid your vehicle and those turning into the junction encounter the risk of driving into an unsighted vehicle on the wrong side of the road. It is hence a driving offence and something to avoid doing.

5. Using your phone as a satellite navigation in an unfixed position

The mobile phone law specifically points to using your phone as a satellite navigation, pointing out that it is illegal to use a hand-held mobile to follow a map. This doesn’t mean that they are banned completely, they must however be fixed to the windscreen or the dashboard of the van or car so it is in clear sight for use while driving without requiring the driver to hold it. If you are caught breaching the mobile phone laws you’ll receive a £200 fine and six points on your licence, this would be enough to ban a new driver who’s had their licence less than two years!

6. Parking on the wrong side of the road at night time

This is not because of the drive on the opposite side of the road to enter and exit the space, it’s because of the risks of dazzling as you park and exit the space, whilst your rear light reflectors will also not be visible once you’ve left the vehicle. This is an offence under rule 248 of the Highway Code and you can receive a Penalty Charge Notice for breaching this rule.

7. Letting animals out of your vehicle while broken-down on the hard shoulder

This may seem cruel if your pet is travelling with you, however the Highway Code clearly states that you must leave any animals in a broken-down vehicle when broken-down on the hard shoulder of the motorway. Only in an emergency should you consider letting them out of your vehicle, if you don’t obey this and an accident is caused by your pet on the hard shoulder then you may face a driving offence charge.

8. Overtaking at a pedestrian crossing

Approaching a pedestrian crossing on a road with multiple lanes? Is there already a vehicle stationary there? If there lights then change to green, do not use the extra speed to overtake the stationary vehicle as this is illegal. You must not overtake the vehicle closest to the pedestrian crossing, as they may be concealing a pedestrian already on the crossing.

9. Flashing your lights to give way

Something the majority of courteous drivers are ‘guilty’ of. Many of us will regularly use our lights to allow other drivers through gaps, however this could be considered a driving offence if it were to result in an accident. Headlight flashes should only be used to warn other road users of your presence on the road.

10. Sleeping in your vehicle when inebriated

If you’ve had a drink, you quite rightly won’t consider getting behind the wheel, however if you’ve got nowhere else to sleep you might consider sleeping in your van, at least until you’re sober. In doing this however, you could leave yourself open to a drunk in charge fine. The law states that those in charge of a motor vehicle should not be inebriated. Despite this not being overly specific and you may argue that sleeping wouldn’t constitute being ‘in charge’ of the vehicle, the police can use this as a way to charge people with a driving offence.

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