Motoring Offence Myths – Part One

We often receive calls from individuals enquiring as to whether certain motoring law myths are true or whether they have committed an offence by behaving in a certain way. 

In today’s article we debunk some of the myths that exist surrounding motoring law. 

  1. Is it illegal to consume food or drink whilst driving?
    • Whilst it is not illegal to consume food or drink whilst driving, if doing so causes you to become distracted and either not concentrate or drive carelessly – you could be pulled over by police. If authorities see fit they could charge you with ‘driving without due care and attention’, which could result in penalty points and/or a monetary fine. 
  2. Is it illegal to select a new song on your music playlist whilst driving?
    • This is becoming a more frequent question we are asked and the answer is yes. Since new driving laws were introduced, it is now illegal to touch or interact with your phone whilst driving. Being found guilty of doing so, would result in a six point penalty on your licence and a £200 fine. This would still apply if you are parked or stopped at traffic, as long as your engine is running this act is illegal
  3. Is it illegal to drive close to the vehicle in front of me if they are driving too slowly?
    • If you are driving too close to the vehicle travelling in front of you, you could be charged with driving without due care and attention. If found guilty you could receive penalty points endorsed on your licence and a monetary fine.
  4. Is it illegal to pay for my food order with ‘apple pay’ on my phone at a drive through?
    • Surprisingly yes! Is becoming more and more common for individuals to use their smart phone or watch to pay for goods/services, as it’s so quicky and easy. However, many people are not aware that doing so whilst in your vehicle is illegal. Unless your engine is switched off when it comes to paying for your order at the drive through window, you could be charged with ‘using your mobile phone whilst driving’, which if found guilty would result in you receiving six penalty points and a £200 fine.
  5. Do I need to tell the DVLA about my medical condition?
    • Yes! If you have a new medical condition or an existing medical condition which has worsened and either could affect your ability to drive safely, it is important you inform the DVLA of this. Relevant conditions include; diabetes, epilepsy, glaucoma, history of strokes and syncope. If you are found to have not informed or kept the DVLA up date in respect of these conditions, you could be fined up to £1000. It’s important to keep in mind, if you are involved in an accident, irrespective of whether it was your fault, you could still be prosecuted.
  6. Can I be charged with going through a red light for just crossing the white stop line slightly?
    • Yes, it is illegal for your vehicle to cross the while stop line if the traffic light is red. If you are caught/captured by a traffic light camera, you will be asked pay a penalty of a £100 fine and you will receive three penalty points endorsed on your licence.
  7. Is it illegal to drive with my headphones in?
    • No, there is no legislation in place to prohibit you from driving with headphones in so this act is not technically illegal. Although this is not recommended as it can distract you from focusing on driving safely. If an officer of the law perceived you to be distracted from driving as a result of headphone use – you could potentially be charged with careless driving.
  8. Is it illegal to ignore a road sign If the roads are clear of cars?
    • Yes, no matter how clear the roads are it is still an offence to ignore road signs whilst you’re driving. Road signs are there to help warn and keep you and other drivers safe. If you are found guilty of ignoring road signs, you could be given a monetary fine and a three penalty point endorsement.

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