Loved-up motorists are being warned that holding hands on the way to romantic dates this Valentine’s Day could see them fined. Car insurance experts say many may not know they are breaking some unusual laws behind the wheel.
By learning these little-known driving laws, motorists are urged to avoid incurring penalty points and fines this year.
These rules include playing loud music, hogging the middle lane and holding hands with a partner while driving.
Consequences for disobeying these rules and laws could lead to fines and prosecution.
Greg Wilson, Founder and CEO of Quotezone.co.uk, said: “Ahead of Valentine’s Day, we want to warn motorists that showing affection to their loved one could land them in hot water. Holding hands or resting a hand on your date’s lap breaks rule 160 of the Highway Code.
“The Highway Code warns drivers who take their hands off their vehicle’s steering wheel could face a £1000 fine and three penalty points.
“Other little-known driving rules include blasting loud music, hogging lanes, excessive road rage and boosting your exhaust.
“A recent Quotezone survey showed over a quarter, 26%, are struggling to afford Valentine’s Day this year, so the last thing they need is additional penalty points or a fine – hopefully, our recap of romantic driving gestures that could see drivers in trouble, will help keep the romance in the air and savings in their pocket.”
Here are Quotezone.co.uk’s more unusual driving laws and rules of the road to be aware of this Valentine’s Day:
1. Keep Hands to Yourself
When behind the wheel, drivers should be careful to keep both hands on the wheel where possible, according to Highway Code rule 160. This means holding hands with a loved one or keeping a hand on someone’s leg while driving could land them in hot water – drivers who take their hands off their vehicle’s steering wheel could face a £1000 fine and three penalty points.
2. Only Got Eyes for You
Taking eyes off the road to gaze at partners while driving could lead to an incident on the road and be deemed as driving without due care and attention – usually resulting in at least three points on a driving licence and a £100 fine.
3. Keep the Mixed Tape to a Minimum
Rule 148 of the Highway Code advises against excessive noise that may distract drivers from important sounds like sirens, which they must be aware of. This means motorists should avoid playing loud music while driving – it could be deemed a distraction, with a £100 fine and three penalty points.
4. Don’t Get Distracted and Hog Lanes
When driving on a three-lane motorway, drivers are advised to drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear, according to Highway Code rule 264. When overtaking, you should return to the left-hand lane as soon as it is safe. Remaining in the middle lane for longer than necessary can cause congestion and danger on the roads and is an offence under ‘careless driving’. Partners out on date night should be careful not to get carried away chatting and hog the wrong lane.
5. Oversized Gifts
Drivers need to be careful when transporting large or awkward gifts, such as a bunch of balloons or an oversized teddy bear. Failure to see clearly out of the car windows could land drivers with at least a £50 fine and three penalty points, increasing up to £2500 if the driver is deemed to be driving the vehicle in a dangerous condition.
6. Be Wary of Your Outfit
Trying to drive in restrictive outfits, high heels, or distracting costumes could result in a fine of up to £5,000 and penalty points.
7. Control Your Emotions
Depending on how your date goes, emotions could be running high. Swearing or gesturing at other road users can be considered disorderly conduct, acts that law enforcement can take action against – they could also be fined for ‘not being in full control of a vehicle’ if their hands leave the wheel.
8. Avoid Making an Entrance
Some motorists might try to impress their date by boosting the sound of their exhaust – without realising the legal repercussions. All exhaust silencers must be maintained and not modified; otherwise, they may break the law and face fines.
9. Feeding the Driver Chocolates
Eating and drinking behind the wheel, even if someone else is feeding you, can be viewed as a distraction and could lead to a charge of careless driving if the police think you aren’t in proper control of the vehicle – with a maximum penalty of £5,000, and three to nine points.
10. Loved up Vehicle
Romantics should be careful when decorating the car itself. Bonnet mascots and ornaments such as hearts or cupids need to be careful not to distract other drivers or restrict their visibility – putting them at risk of fines and penalty points. It can be seen as careless or inconsiderate driving if the romantic gesture distracts passing traffic. Police can issue a fixed penalty notice of up to £200.
Many of the rules in the Highway Code are legal requirements. If drivers disobey these rules, they commit a criminal offence – resulting in fines, penalty points or even disqualification from driving.
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