Six things that are illegal behind the wheel during Christmas

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Millions of motorists are planning on driving home this Christmas. However, experts at the International Drivers Association are warning motorists of six things they may not have been aware of that are actually illegal and land them with a fine.

Using the horn

The experts said: “We’ve all seen somebody we know when we drive past and think we’ll give them a honk, however, if you beep your horn for any other reason than alerting someone of your presence and you could receive a £30 fine.”

Smoking in the car

Smoking in the car with adults comes at its risks, but if drivers are smoking with anyone the police suspect is under 18 they’ll be hit with a hefty £1,000 fine.

Staying in the middle lane

Staying in the middle lane falls into the category of ‘careless driving’ and the punishment for this is three penalty points and up to a £100 fine.

Parking on single yellow lines

Drivers know they shouldn’t park on yellow lines. Single yellows are fine for dropping people off or picking people up, but the driver should not get out of the vehicle at any time, or can face a fine of up to £500.

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Leaving children in the car

The experts said: “When making a stop to fill the car up at the petrol station and your child is asleep in the back.

“Wake them up and take them with you when you go in to pay for your fuel,it is illegal to leave a child alone if it places them at risk.”

Drink-driving without driving

The experts said: “For those who have a few extra drinks and fall over the limit and are stuck for a way to get home, don’t try to sleep it off in your car.

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“If you’ve got the keys, you can still be prosecuted for drunk driving – as you’re the person ‘in charge’ of a vehicle.”

Duane Cuaresma, motoring expert at IDA, said: “If you’re planning on driving home for Christmas, it’s important you ensure everything is above the law, from tyres, brake lights, to ensuring your child’s car seat is fitted correctly.

“The roads are expected to be even busier this year with rail strikes, and it’s important we all take extra care on the road with the winter weather conditions.”

RAC Breakdown’s Rod Dennis added:”Carry a blanket and a fully charged mobile phone in case of breakdown. Drivers should be prepared for extremely slippery conditions.

“Our advice is to reduce speed and leave extra space behind the vehicle in front and drive in as high a gear as possible to minimise the chances of wheels spinning and brake gently to avoid skidding.

“It’s also vital that all tyres have plenty of tread and that vehicles are topped up with a good quality screenwash that protects down to well below zero so windscreens can always be kept clear.”

Experts at Nextbase claimed that some 3,026 road deaths or serious accidents occurred during bad weather in 2021, a number that could be surpassed in 2022.

Nextbase’s head of road safety Bryn Brooker commented: “Every year bad weather contributes to thousands of incidents on the UK’s roads.

“Winter is particularly bad, as drivers deal with dramatically less sunlight and more poor weather.”

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