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Drivers Warned Not To Flash Lights When Giving Way To Other Cars

Claire Reid

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| Last updated 

Drivers Warned Not To Flash Lights When Giving Way To Other Cars

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

If you’re one of the many drivers who flashes your lights at a fellow motorist to give way, then be warned - it could land you in trouble with the law

Yep, although this is something most motorists have done at some point in their life, you could be committing a driving offence if an accident happened as a result. 

According to the RAC: “Headlight flashes should only be used to warn drivers of your presence on the road.

“Simply put, it’s open to misinterpretation (particularly as it means different things in other countries), so think carefully before you reach for the beams.”

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

And the Highway Code states: "Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users.

“Never assume that flashing headlights is a signal inviting you to proceed. Use your own judgement and proceed carefully.”

So there you go. 

And if you flashed your lights in an attempt to let another road user know that there’s a speed trap or police vehicle up ahead, you could even be whacked with a £1,000 fine. 

Section 89 of the Police Act 1997 says it is against the law to ‘wilfully obstruct a police officer’ in the execution of their duty.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) say an example of this could be ‘giving a warning to other motorists of a police speed trap ahead’. If found guilty of such an offence, you can be given a maximum fine of up to £1,000. 

Duncan McClure Fisher, founder and CEO MotorEasy, told WalesOnline: “While flashing your headlights to gesture to a motorist they can proceed might not break the law, it’s something many drivers will do without thinking.

“It’s entirely possible these signs can be misread and could lead to an accident which could be costly on a number of levels.

“As the Highway Code sets out, it’s vital people use their judgement and proceed with caution.”

He added: “What may be considered a friendly warning to other drivers can actually have consequences. Speed cameras and police officers are there to keep everyone safe so it’s vital they are respected.”

Topics: UK News, Cars

Claire Reid
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