Understanding Fog Light Law

As we move further into winter, the days are going to get darker, and the need for fog lights is going to grow. It’s important to know when to use fog lights safely, but many drivers will simply switch on their fog lights even when they don’t need to, and they do risk breaking a few laws in the process.

One of the most common misconceptions about fog lights is that they always need to be on during bad weather, but misusing them can actually result in points on your driving licence and a fine up to £30.

So, let’s take a look at a few of the common rules and regulations involving fog lights, in the hopes of providing people with a bit more clarification on when they should be used, and when they should not.

Is Driving Without Fog Lights Illegal?

Something that most drivers don’t actually know is that it is illegal to use your fog lights when they’re not needed. They can actually be very distracting and even dangerous on the roads, as they are liable to cause accidents by blinding drivers.

Therefore, motorists are encouraged to only use their fog lights when it is strictly necessary to do so. This is defined as when visibility drops below 100m.

Interestingly, those people who failed to activate their fog lights during low visibility conditions are subject to the same punishments as those who misuse them. You might think that you would be safe if you chose not to drive with your fog lights at all, but this is actually more reckless than using them.

When Should You Use Fog Lights?

Fog lights should be used when your visibility is significantly reduced, specifically in situations where there is fog or mist, and you cannot see more than 100 m in front of you. This is a requirement as part of the highway code, and it’s not just a typical safety practice.

Obviously, the purpose of your foglight is to make sure that your visibility improves in these conditions, and to alert other drivers to the fact that you are approaching. Once conditions improve, you should switch off the fog lights immediately.

How Do You Turn Off Fog Lights?

The specific button for turning your fog lights on and off during poor visibility conditions will vary from one model of car to the next, but it is expected that you take the time to familiarise yourself with these buttons and know how to turn your lights on and off before you set off on a journey.

The typical way to do this is normally to activate the headlights, and then turn on the fog light control, which is usually found on either the dashboard or the indicator stalk.

As previously mentioned, this is considered essential knowledge for anybody operating a vehicle, regardless of make or model. You should always make sure you know how to turn your fog lights on and off, and if you’re not sure, consult the instruction manual for your vehicle before you want to take a journey in bad conditions.