Did you know these ten bits of bad driving could earn you points on your license?

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Many of us are aware of driving offences that can earn us points on our licenses, such as driving too quickly or not having insurance on our vehicles. But how many of these ten motoring habits did you know could earn you a fine or points on your licence?

Take a look at the list below and remember these going forward, as you don’t want to end up with points, a fine or even a prison sentence for something you thought was completely innocent.

Driving too slowly

As well as driving too fast, you can be penalised for driving too slowly if it is proven that another driver was inconvenienced by the slow movement. Figures from the Department for Transport suggest that 143 accidents a year are caused by motorists driving too slowly.

If you are found guilty of inconsiderate driving can earn you up to nine licence points, as well as an unlimited fine!

Eating behind the wheel

A 2016 YouGov study commissioned by Aviva found that 64% of drivers admitted to eating while they are driving. However, this can cause motorists to be ‘driving without due care and attention’, meaning people who are eating or drinking whilst driving could earn between three and nine points in the license.

Bad eyesight

Vision Express research found that 9,034 licenses were revoked from car and motorcycle (Class 1) drivers, with vision being the reason. The maximum penalty for driving with poor eyesight is £1000, three penalty points or a discretionary disqualification.

Deliberately driving through a puddle to splash pedestrians

We’ve all seen videos of people splashing pedestrians from their cars (and probably had a sly chuckle at their misfortune!) but this actually falls under section three of the Road Traffic Act 1988, which says motorist are guilty of an offence if they drive ‘without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road’.

If found guilty, it can result in fixed penalty notice. During a five-year period from 2009, 63 incidents of splashing were reported to police, Press Association figures showed last year… So next time you see the puddle coming up, think again!

Driving on a hangover

So you’ve had a heavy night and now you’re gagging for that McDonald’s that will either make or break you… But a night of heavy partying could mean a driver is still over the drink-driving limit, which could mean six months in prison, up to 11 points on the licence and a fine of up to £5,000.

Research led by Utrecht University in the Netherlands found that even when blood alcohol levels returned to zero the morning after, drivers still showed the same degree of impairment as those who were drunk, so if in doubt, don’t drive.

Dirty number plates

By law, number plates should show the vehicle registration number correctly and in a way that can be easily read. This means numbers and letters can’t be changed so they’re hard to read, nor should they be damaged or too dirty to read. Drivers can receive a fine of up to £1,000 should they be found with an incorrectly displayed number plate.

Driving too close to a horse or cyclist

Motorists can be prosecuted for careless driving it they get too close to another vehicle, but the rule goes beyond that. The Highway Code also says that drivers should ‘give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car’.

Just recently, a scheme was launched by West Midlands Police to target drivers who were getting too close to cyclists. Anyone who was found passing less than 1.5 metres from a cyclist runs the risk of being prosecuted driving without due care and attention. This could be worth between three to nine penalty points and a fine of up to £5,000, based on the seriousness of the situation.

Be careful of strong prescription drugs

Rule 96 of The Highway Code says that drivers must not drive under the influence of drugs or medicine, so you are advised to check with a doctor or pharmacist, and not to drive if advised that they may be impaired.

A Freedom of Information request made last year found that drug driving offences increased from 1,039 to 1,490 between 2014 to 2015, which is an increase of 43%. If found guilty of drug driving, you will receive a minimum one-year ban, up to six months in prison, an unlimited fine and a criminal record.

Stay off your phone if you are supervising learners

Staying off your phone and drink driving are two offences that drivers know all too well, but did you know it is also illegal to be over the drink-driving limit or use a hand-held phone when supervising a learner?

If these offences are committed, learner drivers can also be fined up to £1,000 and get up to six points on their provisional licence for driving without the correct supervision.

Flashing lights to request another car moves or warn of speed traps

According to the Highway Code, you should flash your headlights to ‘let other road users know that you are there. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users.’ Notifying other drivers about upcoming law enforcement is included under this bracket.

Lancashire Police fined 20 drivers who flashed their lights to warn other drivers about speed cameras in 2012, so be warned.



Photo courtesy of Beachfront Solutions on Flickr, under Creative Commons