Driving Offences – you never knew existed

Karen Brookes

Karen Brookes

Karen has practised criminal law for more than 17 years, and manages a mix of work which includes litigating serious fraud and serious sexual offences, in particular those charged with historic offences and offences involving children.

Driving Offences - you never knew existed

Most drivers now know that it is unacceptable and against the law to use their mobile phone when driving a vehicle – if they do and are caught, they will be fined, but did you know that mud of your licence plate could result in the same outcome?  Possibly not.  In this article, one of our senior advocates, Karen Brookes, sets out some of the lesser known offences that you really should look out for.  

Emergency Services

You are driving along, conscientiously watching the road for dangers and you spot in your rear view mirror an emergency vehicle, racing towards you with their blue lights and sirens on – anxious to get out of their way so that they can get their emergency you make every effort to pull over.  STOP and THINK before you do this – What are your legal options – you cannot pull over into a prohibited bus lane or travel over red traffic lights, you will still be committing an offence, even if it is to allow the emergency vehicle to pass by.  If you cannot pull over to a legal parking spot then just stop your vehicle where you are and allow the emergency vehicle to make its way around you – this is what they are trained to do and you don’t receive a summons. 

Personal Information

If you fail to keep your driving documents up to date you can be fined up to £1,000 so if you move house or change your name (marriage or divorce) you need to inform the DVLA immediately.   Details like these often only come to light when your details are checked by the police for a driving offence or when you go to use your documents as ID, hiring a car, for example. 

Splashing pedestrians with puddles

Sometimes this can’t be helped, you drive through a large puddle at the side of the road and unfortunately there is someone walking close by who gets splashed. But, beware, drivers who do this can be fined up to £5,000 and receive penalty points on their licence.

MOT’s

Most drivers know that they have to have their vehicle MOT’d in order to drive it legally.  If the MOT runs out before a new one is issued then it is not legal to drive the vehicle.  However, did you know that if you book your vehicle in early for an MOT and the vehicle fails the test, then you can no longer drive or keep the vehicle on the road even though the original MOT may not yet have expired.   Breaking this law will find you receiving a substantial fine and points on your licence. 

Driving too slow

People who drive too slow are equally as dangerous as those who drive to excessive speeds.  If you are driving far below the speed limit and present a hazard to other road users you can face penalties from a verbal warning to points on your licence.

Using your horn

The sound of car horns is a regular occurrence on our busy streets but they are not there to be used in frustration towards other road users – if you sound your horn in circumstances other than to warn other road users of your presence you can be fined.  In addition did you know that you are only allowed to sound your horn after 11.30pm and before 7am if it is in an emergency – breaching this will also get you fined. 

If you wish to discuss a motoring law matter or if you have an enquiry about any other type of criminal law matter, please contact us at [email protected] or call us on 020 7846 4999.  Alternatively, visit us here and fill out the Contact Form

 

Karen Brookes

Karen Brookes

Karen has practised criminal law for more than 17 years, and manages a mix of work which includes litigating serious fraud and serious sexual offences, in particular those charged with historic offences and offences involving children.

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