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Highway Code – Little known rules of the road

May 31, 2018

The Highway Code has a huge number of rules – 307 in total and whilst most of the rules are common sense there are some which aren’t as well known. Not adhering to these rules could land you, or those that drive for your company, with a fine or penalty point. Here are some of the lesser known rules that are worth being aware of:

1.     Parking on the wrong side of the road at night
This is a driving offence and could result in a penalty charge notice – the risk of parking against the flow of traffic at night is in your lights dazzling other drivers and your rear light reflectors not being visible whilst you are parked.

  1. Using your mobile phone as a sat nav in an unfixed position
    If you are using your mobile phone as a sat nav it must be mounted in a fixed position – for example on your dashboard or windscreen. Failing to do so could result in a £200 fine and 6 penalty points.
  2. Flashing your lights to give way to another vehicle
    Whilst a common technique used to let another driver know that you are giving them right of way, there is potential for confusion to be caused and if the light flash results in an accident it is considered a driving offence. The general advice is that it is best to only use headlight flashing to warn other drivers of your presence.
  3. Letting your pet out of the car in the event of a breakdown
    If you are awaiting recovery on a highway then all passengers must exit the vehicle and wait well away from the road, however it is not as well known that if you are travelling with animals it is illegal to let them out of the vehicle. This is due to the risk of the animal becoming spooked or escaping on to the road and causing an accident. You may consider removing the animal in an emergency, but if they do a cause an accident you could face a driving charge.
  4. Driving on the pavement – unless you’re turning into a driveway
    Unless there is signage permitting it, the Highway code states that you must not park wholly or partially on the pavement. You may be committing an offence if parking on the pavement becomes an obstruction or inconvenience to pedestrians.
  5. Paying at a drive thru using your mobile phone
    With the advent of technology such as Apple and Android pay, it is tempting to use your mobile phone to pay at a drive thru. However, make sure your engine is off and handbrake on otherwise you would be considered to be using a mobile whilst in charge of a vehicle – an offence which commands penalty points and a fine.

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