6 driving laws you might not realise you are breaking

IF you have been hitting the roads around Portsmouth recently you will probably have a good grasp of driving laws.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 12:28 pm
Driving laws you may not realise you are breaking this summer. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

From speed limits to pedestrian crossings, motorists will be well acquainted with the rules of driving.

However there are some lesser known laws that you may not be as familiar with.

Read More

Read More
13 obscure driving laws you might not realise you're breaking

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Here are six rules you need to watch out for to make sure you aren’t breaking them.

Driving in unsuitable footwear

Some people might be prefer more ‘comfortable’ footwear choices when getting behind the wheel – such as putting on a pair of flip-flops or going barefooted.

According to the RAC it is not illegal to drive while in flip-flops, however there is a catch.

If you are wearing what could be considered unsuitable footwear, such as having wet feet if you’ve been for a dip in the sea, then this is consider illegal and you could face penalty points or a fine.

Taking hay fever medication before driving

Around 13 million people in the country are affected by hay fever but if you take medication to combat the allergy, you may be at risk of being banned from driving.

It is illegal to drive while on drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, and antihistamines can cause drowsiness. So if you take them before driving then you could risk being charged with drug-driving, which carries a penalty of one-year driving ban and an unlimited fine.

Are you wearing the wrong sunglasses?

In sunny weather, there is nothing worse than having glare in your eyes.

But before you put on your favourite pair of sunglasses next time you get behind the wheel, you should be aware that it is illegal to drive with certain types.

If you are wearing Class 4 type sunglasses, which only allow 3 per cent and 8 per cent of light through, these are not suitable for wearing while driving at any time, the RAC have said.

Is it illegal to eat and drink while driving?

If you are wondering whether you can drinking – soft drinks, hot drinks or water – while behind the wheel, according to the RAC it is a bit of a tricky answer.

It is not illegal to take a drink or a bite of a sandwich as you are driving, unless it distracts you.

The RAC gives the example of if you have a hot coffee on a morning commute, if you suddenly spill it and get distracted then you could face being prosecuted for careless driving.

This carries a maximum penalty of £5,000, 3 to 9 points on your licence and a discretionary driving disqualification.

Turning up the tunes

When the weather is good, many of us will want to roll down the windows and listen to some tunes while driving.

However if you have the music too loud, then under rule 148 of the Highway Code you could be distracting yourself while behind the wheel and could face a fine of £100.

Not properly restraining your dog

If you have a dog, you’ll be used to taking them out for walks. If you are tempted to take your four-legged friend to the beach or out of the city for a walk, then you should make sure you are aware of the do's and don’t’s of having your pooch in the car.

You should make sure they are properly restrained, while it may look cute to have your dog hang out of the window it is very dangerous.

Also if your dog is roaming around in the car you run the risk of being distracted, meaning you run the risk of being fined, also you risk hurting your dog if they aren't properly restrained in the event of a crash.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Thank you for reading this story. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on our advertisers and thus our revenues.

The News is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. You can subscribe here for unlimited access to Portsmouth news and information online.

Every subscription helps us continue providing trusted, local journalism and campaign on your behalf for our city.