10 driving laws you may have broken without realising

Whether you’re nipping to the shops or travelling further afield, it’s easy to fall into bad driving habits. In fact, you might be breaking some rules of the road without even realising it.


Beeping the car horn

If you’re tempted to beep your horn in a traffic jam or use it to get a pedestrian’s attention when stationary, you might need to have a rethink. Beeping your car horn for any other reason than alerting traffic of your presence on the road could lead to a £30 fine.

Flashing your headlights

You may think that warning other drivers of an oncoming speed trap is just being considerate, yet the law says otherwise. It’s considered dangerous practice and you could face a minimum fine of £30 if caught.

Driving too slow

Despite there being no minimum speed limit on the majority of UK roads, you can still be fined for driving too slow, as it can be a hazard to other road users. If pulled over by police, a simple verbal warning could be given or you could face a fine of up to £5,000 and nine penalty points on your licence. 

Eating at the wheel

If you’re in a hurry and feeling hungry, you may be tempted to eat whilst driving. However, this could cost you 3-9 penalty points and a fine of up to £100. Although eating whilst driving isn’t illegal in itself, it can be classed as careless driving if your attention isn’t solely on the road.


Splashing pedestrians

Sometimes it’s hard to avoid puddles in the road… especially in the wet British weather. Yet if you are caught splashing a pedestrian with a puddle it could result in three points on your licence.

Using your mobile phone as a sat nav

Penalties for using your phone whilst driving have been extended to the use of mobiles as sat navs. Although it’s not illegal to use navigation apps, you could be given a £200 fine and up to six penalty points, if you touch the handset while driving. To avoid this penalty, make sure your mobile phone is fixed to your dashboard and ensure your route is programmed before you set off.

Using your phone to pay at a drive-thru

Many fast food drive-thrus offer contactless payment but paying for your food with your mobile phone, with Apps such as Google or Apple Pay is against the law. Instead, stick to your contactless bankcard and avoid the £200 fine and up to six penalty points.

Swearing or making rude hand gestures to other road users

When frustrated or annoyed behind the wheel, it’s easy to lose your cool. But taking your frustration out on other drivers is classed as disorderly behavior and can lead to a fine of 75% of your weekly income. 

Forgetting to put headlights on when it’s dark

You must always use your headlights when it’s dark (the period between half an hour after sunset and half an hour before sunrise), so that you can clearly see where you are going and are visible to others on the road. If you forget to switch your lights on, you could face a £50 fine. 

Making profit from giving someone a lift

There is nothing wrong with helping out a friend if they’re stranded or need a lift – they can even chip in for petrol. However, if you make a profit from this unofficial taxi service without the right documents to hand, you could face a hefty penalty: up to £5,000 fine and six points on your licence.

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