According to the latest survey from roadside assistance expert, Allianz Global Assistance UK, 61% of motorists surveyed aren’t aware that the rules surrounding babies and children in cars changed...

According to the latest survey from roadside assistance expert, Allianz Global Assistance UK, 61% of motorists surveyed aren’t aware that the rules surrounding babies and children in cars changed last year1. Now, a driver could be fined up to £500 if a child under 14 isn’t in the correct car seat or wearing a seat belt, including new-borns who must be transported by car in a baby carrier – not in a passenger’s arms.

The new research highlights motoring laws many British motorists are unwittingly breaking, which could earn them points on their licence, incur a fine or see their car being confiscated.

Dodgy Driving Skills
When it comes to the rules of the road, there are some things that drivers forget. Speeding is one everyone knows, but 64% of those surveyed by Allianz Global Assistance didn’t know that driving too slowly is deemed as ‘careless driving’ and could also earn them up to up to nine points on their licence and a fine.

Everyone gets annoyed when someone sits in the middle lane – otherwise known as middle lane hogging – but 27% of respondents admit they do it, despite one in three knowing that it’s illegal. This means they are risking a minimum £100 fine and potentially, three points on their licence.

Mounting the curb is a tricky one because it’s outlawed in London and some other areas. Whilst 63% of people are unaware they could get as much as a £130 fine, 44% admit to doing it. With calls to roll this law out nationwide, people should be aware.

Road Rage
It’s all too easy to get hot and bothered behind the wheel, so it’s no surprise that 41% of people surveyed by Allianz Global Assistance admit to expressing their frustration at other road users through swearing, but it could be a costly crime. If caught swearing verbally or by using gestures, police could fine a driver up to 75% of their weekly income.

An even costlier crime is beeping the horn unnecessarily. A car horn should only be used to alert traffic to your presence, such as on a bend. It shouldn’t be used in anger or as a friendly signal to friends, as this could result in a fine between £30 and £1,000 and is illegal between the hours of 11.30pm and 7.00am in a built-up area. One in three motorists admit to beeping their horn without due cause and 63% didn’t know they could be fined.

Mobile Phones
Meanwhile, 74% of drivers don’t know that paying at a toll road with their smart phone counts as using their mobile behind the wheel and is illegal because they are on a public highway; if caught they could earn a minimum £200 fine or receive up to six points on their licence.

Bad Habits
There are some bad driving habits that could see motorists on the wrong side of the law, but many don’t even realise. Who would think that having a nap in the car to sleep off an alcoholic drink is illegal? Almost half (49%) of respondents know they shouldn’t do this, but 16% say they have. This could get them a minimum of 10 points on their driving licence or even a driving ban.

Many drivers may be guilty of turning up the volume for a favourite tune, but 84% didn’t realise that if they do it in a built up area they could be pulled over by the police. Over a quarter (28%) confessed that they have done this.

Anyone caught eating, drinking or putting on a spot of makeup at the lights could also be penalised for ‘careless driving’, getting up to nine points on their licence. Nearly half (49%) of respondents admitted to these activities whilst driving, which could be a costly fix.

It’s clear from the Allianz Global Assistance survey that there are laws many motorists either overlook or don’t know about. Not being aware of a law won’t help drivers, if they are caught, which could lead them facing hefty fines, not to mention points on their licence. To avoid being on the wrong side of the law, it’s worth keeping up-to-date with UK driving laws or risk the consequences of unwitting violations.

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