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No one wants to break the law and get in trouble - especially when it comes to road and traffic offences. I
t's dangerous enough on the roads at the best of times, and no one wants to cause an accident. But there may be things you're doing that you haven't even realised are illegal.
Have you broken the law by accident? Make sure that you're obeying the law - and avoiding points on your licence and unnecessary fines by having a look at these 22 laws you may not know about.
No Need For Speed
Driving over 30mph on a streetlamp lit road, unless signposted otherwise, can get you three points on your licence and fined £100. The street lighting indicates that it's an urban area where the default speed is 30mph.
And if you're being extra careful and driving too slow - don't. That counts as careless driving. Driving too slowly and holding other people up can be very annoying, and can result in anything from a verbal warning to nine penalty points!
Likewise, if you flash your headlights to warn other people about a speed trap, it's a £30 fine. We all want to help out our fellow drivers, but it's best not to in this case.
It's illegal to park on the pavement in London and some other parts of the UK. It's best to check before you drive to somewhere new - but in general, try and keep to a parking space. Otherwise you're going to get a £70 fine.
And did you know that you're not allowed to leave your car while on a single yellow line? I mean it should be obvious but sometimes when you've just got to nip into a shop quickly...don't do it. It's a whopping £130 fine.
After a heavy night out, it might be tempting to pass out in your car and sleep it off. But if you fall asleep while intoxicated in your car, it's difficult to prove to the police that you weren't intending to drive while drunk. See the problem? It's a minimum 10 penalty points and you may get a fine, too.
Don't Get Distracted
These days, the laws regarding a mobile in a car are very strict and for good reason. You can't have your phone near you when you're driving - it's got to be on the stand. A cheap mobile stand will pay for itself - way cheaper than a £200 fine and six points on your licence.
And while multitasking is to be commended, you can't eat and drive at the same time. Maybe you think you can, but you just can't. You can't change the CD, or put on makeup either. Make sure that the car is parked and switched off before you do any of these things - otherwise you could face a £100 fine and 3-9 penalty points.
And make sure that your baby is in the car seat. Cradling the baby while driving is a strict no-no. You get struck with a £100 fine.
Keep It Visible
Make sure that your number plate is always visible - if it's covered in dirt then the police may think you're trying to hide your identity. A dirty number plate comes with a £100 fine.
And if it's been snowing and you've got a few inches of white powder on your roof, don't think it's Christmassy and leave it. It could easily fall onto your windscreen and block your view - you'll get fined £60 and three penalty points.
There's always someone driving round without their lights on - make sure it's not you. As soon as the light starts to go, turn your car lights on to avoid the £50 fine.
Some Random Technicalities
Did you know that you can't use your smart phone to pay for food in a drive-through? You'll be hit with a £200 fine and six penalty points that will have you crying into your McNuggets.
You also can't make a profit from giving people lifts, aka be an illegal taxi driver. Your pals chipping in for petrol is one thing, but you can't make a profit from giving people rides around town unless you have the right paperwork. You could get six penalty points and up to £5,000 in fines. Not worth it.
You also need to declare any medical conditions you have to DVLA. That includes vertigo, ADHD, a Caesarian section and epilepsy. There's a full list here. Otherwise you could get a fine of £1,000.
On The Motorway
It's important to take regular breaks when you're driving, but you have to park in legal places; if you rest on the hard shoulder, you can get fined £100 and three points on your licence. Wait until there's a proper rest stop.
If you are towing a caravan or trailer, you have to stay out of the fast lane. It's too dangerous for you to be there, and so you're limited to two lanes and 60mph. Otherwise you'll get a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points.
And don't hog the middle lane - it should be used for overtaking. If you stay there too long, you could get a fine of £100 and three points on your licence.
Pedestrians will be glad to hear that splashing them with puddles can get motorists in trouble - you can get three points on your licence for soaking people.
And if you're suffering from road rage and giving people the finger or making rude gestures, don't. It's not worth it - you could get fined 75 percent of your weekly income due to disorderly behaviour laws.
Even thought it is tempting, you're not allowed to use your horn while stationary. If you use it for any other reason that alerting motorists or pedestrians to your presence, you can get a £30 fine.
And finally, even though it's summer and blaring loud music seems like the thing to do - watch out. If you ignore a verbal warning from the police, they might seize your car. So be mindful of other people while you're playing tunes.
Words: Laura Hamilton
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