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Hazard Lights Warning: Saying Thank You to Other Drivers Can Result in £1,000 Fine

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Motorists are advised to avoid saying thank you to other drivers as they could face a hefty fine for breaking the Highway Code. Experts have put together do’s and don’ts for using hazard lights on the road.

Drivers are told to think twice about thanking other motorists with their hazard lights, or they could face a hefty £1,000 fine.

Motoring experts from Lease Van have explained when drivers should and shouldn’t use hazard lights to avoid penalties, prevent accidents and comply with the Highway Code.

Misusing hazards could see motorists charged with driving without due care and attention, resulting in a £1,000 fine and three penalty points.

It’s safe and even advised to use hazard lights when approaching danger or to alert other road users of a breakdown. Still, it can be dangerous to utilise them for tedious reasons, which can confuse other drivers.

From Lease Van, Tim Alcock said: “It’s common to practice to say thank you to other drivers by flashing your lights, but it’s, in fact, a severe breach of the Highway Code.

“While it’s a nice gesture to say thank you, using hazard lights excessively may lead to confusion among other drivers who believe there is a danger up ahead, causing them to slam on their brake pedal.

“The Highway Code clearly states you must not use hazard warning lights while driving or being towed unless you are on a motorway or unrestricted dual carriageway, and you need to warn drivers behind you of a hazard or obstruction ahead.

“It also says to only use them for as long as necessary – while the warning has been observed.

“We’ve put together some simple do’s and don’ts when it comes to using hazard lights on the roads so drivers won’t face penalty points or hefty fines and to help protect other road users from accidents caused by misuse.”

Here Are the Do’s and Don’ts of Hazard Lights:

  1. Do: Alert About Danger

Under the Highway Code, drivers are permitted to use hazard lights to convey danger, when stopped, to indicate to other road users that the driver’s vehicle is obstructing traffic. It’s also stated that they should only be used when the warning has been observed.

  1. Do: Alert about a Breakdown

It’s essential for drivers to always turn on their hazards to alert other motorists that they’re broken down, even if the car is on the hard shoulder or lay-by. It’s again stated in the code to only use them for as long as it takes to ensure your warning has been seen.

  1. Do: Heavy Motorway Queue

If a driver is on the motorway and a queue suddenly emerges, they’re permitted to briefly turn on their hazards to alert other motorists so they can use their brakes in time.

Don’ts
  1. Don’t: Say Thank You

Many road users use hazard lights to say thank you by flashing their hazards, but this can result in a hefty fine for misusing them. A simple hand-up will suffice.

  1. Don’t: Use When Turning

Motorists are urged not to use their hazard lights when driving slowly and looking for a turning. If a driver turns a corner and suddenly turns their hazards on as another vehicle is closely following, it can cause them to slam on their brake pedal and may lead to harmful consequences.

  1. Don’t: When Parking

The Highway Code warns against using hazards to let people know you’re parking, even if you want to claim a specific space in the car park.

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