Many drivers are unaware of some of the rules that can land you with fines, including charging people for giving them a lift, going to sleep in your car if you are drunk, and overloading your vehicle. Having a dirty number plate can also cost you £1000 in fines.
How Well Do You Know the Highway Code?
For most of us, the highway code is something we swat upon when it comes to passing our driving test. Once this is done, we pay little attention to it, and most of us cannot honestly say we know all the risks that could lead to fines when motoring. If your car is muddy, you are likely to be in less trouble than if mud obscures your number plate, as they must be visible all the time. The same applies to your indicators, lights and reflectors; the highway code clearly states that lights, indicators, reflectors and number plates must be kept clean and clear.
Don’t Overload Your Car
Another little-known issue that can cause a fine is overloading the maximum weight of your car. In the vehicle handbook, you will see a maximum load weight that includes passengers and luggage, and it is up to you to ensure that this never goes over. An overloaded vehicle will handle badly, place strain on the tires and chassis and generally increase accident risk. Most of us cannot honestly say this has ever crossed our mind, but if you were to be stopped by the police, you would be issued a £300 fine and three penalty points issued for your license if it was proven you were overloaded. It will also invalidate your car insurance.
Driving When Tired
The highway code is very specific when it comes to driving when tired. The rule states you must not begin your journey if you are tired but must get sufficient sleep before embarking on a long trip. It can be very tempting if you are returning from holiday and driving home from the airport or rushing to see someone who’s been taken ill to jump behind the wheel even if you are tired. There is a wide range of mitigating circumstances that drivers would assume lets them off. No excuse will let you off; the fine can be unlimited, including a driving ban and 14 years in prison if you cause a severe accident.
Sleeping in the Car Drunk
You might think that having a sleep in your car because you know you are over the legal limit and should not be driving is the safer option. However, technically the illegality is being in your vehicle while under the influence. Even if you have the engine switched off and you are sleeping in your car while drunk, you can be prosecuted for being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle. So, you should take your nap somewhere else and recover before you get back behind the wheel after a night of drinking.