You’re nicked! Things that can be illegal if you do them at the wheel


She won’t be laughing quite as much if he’s fined for eating at the wheel

Most drivers are aware that it’s illegal to drink drive, break the speed limit and use a mobile phone at the wheel. But what about other things you can’t do while driving?

The action of reaching for something on the back seat when motoring along isn’t illegal. But it could risk a charge of careless driving if there’s an accident or a police officer deems it to be dangerous. And they might have a point. Research in the US has found that a driver trying to get an object from the back makes them eight times more likely to have a crash, the same as if they were using a mobile phone.

Here are six other things drivers do, sometimes innocently, that can land them in hot water with the law.

Dirty number plates

During the winter when the roads are filthy, it’s difficult to keep a car clean. But if you don’t clean your number plate, you could be fined for it. The authorities have started paying a little more attention to this since the introduction of Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras in the mid-2000s. The cameras struggle to read dirty plates.

Offence: This is contrary to Section 43 of the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act of 1994. The maximum fine for it is £1000.

Splashing pedestrians

The sadistic might derive pleasure from driving through a deep puddle and deliberately drenching pedestrians, but it is actually a crime. And that’s aside from the fact that it can be deeply unpleasant and annoying for the people who now have soaking clothes. Police advise that you should slow down or avoid the puddle altogether as long as it’s safe to do so.

Offence: Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 relating to careless and inconsiderate driving means drivers can be prosecuted for this.

Tooting the horn

Anyone who hasn’t used their horn in a moment of irritation or to give someone they’re waiting for a gentle ‘hurry up’ deserves praise. But your car horn should only be used to warn someone of danger. And it shouldn’t be sounded when a car is stationary at any time, other than to warn of danger. Neither should the horn be used on a moving vehicle on a road with street lights and a 30mph limit between 11.30pm and 7.00am.

Offence: It’s contrary to Regulation 99 (1) of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 and Section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Running the engine to keep warm

We’ve all done it: you’re waiting for Junior to finish school/sporting activity/clubbing and it’s cold outside. That’s alright, you’re tucked up in a nice warm car. Keep the engine running and the heater will keep you toasty warm. Leave the engine running while the car is stationary, and unless you’re stuck in traffic you’re breaking the law.

Offence: This is covered by Section 98 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986.

Eating at the wheel

It’s a familiar scenario. You’re running late and have missed lunch. What better way to do a bit of adult multi-tasking and eat a sandwich while you’re driving? That’s fine but it could land you in hot water with the law. The University of Leeds found that reaction times of drivers who took a snack at the wheel were up to 44 per cent below their normal response times. The police can take a dim view of it too, particularly if they think your driving has deteriorated as a result.

Offence: It’s not actually illegal to eat at the wheel. However, you could be prosecuted for careless driving if the police witness you doing something you shouldn’t while eating. It’s the same story with brushing your teeth, shaving and putting make-up on.

Driving with an empty windscreen washer bottle

Every car has a windscreen washing system. But did you know it’s against the law not to keep the bottle filled? Of course, you’re unlikely to be prosecuted. But if you do have an accident deemed to be caused by a lack of vision and your washer bottle is empty, you could be in trouble.

Offence: Section 34 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 covers this.

149 comments on “You’re nicked! Things that can be illegal if you do them at the wheel

  1. M 31/03/2017 7:51 AM

    What about all the people smoking. These new chimney cigarettes puff so much smoke out I have seen a car engulfed in smoke. Some of these are huge and If you ask me what’s good for one is good for all, same rules should apply.

    • David Willis 10/05/2017 9:14 AM

      i know , it’s shocking at the amount of whatever they exhale , that comes out , looks like the car is on fire

    • James 14/05/2017 8:31 AM

      What about people that stick their SatNsg in the middle of the windscreen! How can they see clearly ? Especially at night?!

      • FRED CORNER 15/05/2017 4:35 PM

        The Road Vehicles (Construction & Use Regulations) 1986 Regulation 30 & 33 obstruction of front & rear windscreens could possibly be applied in relation to limited vision, also Regulation 100 requires a motor vehicle and all its parts and accessories to be at all times such that no danger is caused, or likely to be caused, to any person in or on a vehicle or on the road

      • Andy 15/05/2017 8:53 PM

        Yes, I agree. Along with air-fresheners and anything else suspended from the rear view mirror.

      • Francis Baker 16/05/2017 2:05 AM

        If a sticker ,sat nav or the like affects the drivers view it is an offence and an mot failure item.

    • Howard JAMES 17/05/2017 12:40 PM

      To me, smoking whilst driving is one of the most dangerous activities.
      If one considers the whole process-
      – finding the packet
      – opening the packet
      – retrieving one cigarette
      – placing it between the lips
      – closing and putting the packet away
      – depressing the lighter (if fitted or otherwise) –
      – finding a lighter
      – firing up the lighter
      – putting the lighter accurately to the cigarette.
      – extinguishing the lighter and putting it away
      – opening the ashtray
      – periodically shaking off the ash
      – extinguishing the cigarette (and ensuring it is in fact out)
      It is obviously a much more distracting operation than speaking on a mobile phone, especially since a number of these activities needs two hands..

      And that is even before we consider the effect of smoke in the drivers eyes and the possibility of a coughing fit.

      Also, a lighted cigarette dropped into the driver’s lap (or anywhere else for that matter) is highly likely to result in a very rapid shift of priorities.

      For the life of me, I cannot understand why the law has declined to bite this particular bullet.

      • Peter 17/05/2017 3:14 PM

        No more dangerous than changing radio station, changing gear, operating the indicator, etc, etc. Driving is a multitasking activity, adding smoking or eating to that is not a problem for most people. If it is, I’d question whether you can drive a car properly in the first place.

        • Rodney Baugh 17/05/2017 5:26 PM

          As i have said before leave the smokers alone and as for bad things how about lorries tail gating on the motor ways.

          • Peter 17/05/2017 7:43 PM

            If a lorry is tailgating a car, the car is going WAY too slow. Lorries are restricted to about 56.

      • John Murrell 17/05/2017 4:54 PM

        In addition the Carbon Monoxide from smoking results in a reduction in human performance in several areas.

        • Peter 17/05/2017 7:47 PM

          Oo er!

      • Mick Ramsell 18/05/2017 12:52 PM

        obviously a non smoker. Why do you think cars are fitted with ashtrays and a cigar lighter. it’s called multi-tasking, but it sounds like you have difficulty doing this whilst driving. Maybe you should surrender your licence and take up walking everywhere( a lot safer for you. and by the sound of it other road users too)

  2. Darryl Abram 08/05/2017 1:37 PM

    yes as above, vapour pipes and smoking real cigarettes,i was a smoker and the times i’d get smoke or ash in the eye ! or take the ciggie out of my mouth only for it to stick to my lips and pull the hot end out into the car ???? more dangerous than using a mobile phone BAN IT

    • senex72 15/05/2017 8:06 AM

      Driving is inherently dangerous, like eatingh bony fish and choking! We can’t cure the world by banning everything, H & S requires onl a easonable balance if risks: not the word ‘reasonable’. If we banned all these picky comments and regs, we might relax at the whell and drive with a greater prospect of safety?

      • Kevin 15/05/2017 3:15 PM

        A big difference to eating a bony fish is that a road traffic accident can cause the death of multiple persons, not just one. Surely doing anything whilst driving that takes your attention from driving the vehicle is extremely dangerous. Laws are in place to protect people. Much better to pull into a service area and have your smoke or whatever there.

        • Peter 16/05/2017 10:33 AM

          Driving is already multitasking anyway. Adding one more thing makes no difference. People can do more than one thing at a time. If you can’t, you wouldn’t be able to drive in the first place. Instead of doing people for possibly driving dangerously, how about giving points on your license when you crash? Currently someone can have loads of accidents and just pay more insurance premiums, yet a safe driver who never crashed in their entire life gets done for eating, it’s ridiculous.

  3. Rosemary foort 08/05/2017 2:41 PM

    What about people changing the cd or adjusting the radio whilst driving. Listening to music can be a distraction

    • Peter 16/05/2017 2:28 PM

      Listening to your wife can be a distraction. Should we ban those too?

  4. col 08/05/2017 4:09 PM

    smoking in any car should be illegal even e-cigs

  5. chris 08/05/2017 5:02 PM

    What about the UK car vloggers on Youtube?
    They are driving, talking to a camera, being silly etc, etc. Totally reckless and distractive driving with undue care and attention should be deemed illegal like talking on a mobile phone.

    • Peter 16/05/2017 2:29 PM

      Maybe they can do more than one thing at a time, like every human on the planet. You have to to be able to drive anyway. Driving is already multitasking.

      • Eric Hayman 18/05/2017 4:33 PM

        The problem with using a mobile phone when driving is not just “multitasking” – it is the taking away the mind from what is on the road to what the driver is talking about. Road safety organisations say for that reason it is more dangerous than other illegal activities. Why is smoking while driving not banned? For the same reason it is not banned totally – it brings in too much revenue in taxes.

        • Peter 19/05/2017 2:16 PM

          Then explain why it’s not illegal to talk to your wife in the passenger seat while driving. That should be in your opinion as dangerous as using a phone. Anyway the law is for handheld phones, handsfree are allowed, so obviously they aren’t considering the conversation as distracting you.

  6. Dean Abbott 08/05/2017 5:04 PM

    What about using fog lights when visibility is good. This is also an offence.

    • Trevor Reed 11/05/2017 2:28 PM

      And people hogging the middle lane when not overtaking

      • Kevin 14/05/2017 10:55 AM

        Recently on TV a senior police officer said it was acceptable to stay in the middle lane and preferable to weaving in and out in certain circumstances. Also if you are doing the maximum speed limit and there are slower vehicles in the inside lane, you are not hogging it as nobody should be passing you or they would be breaking the law! I would agree with you if there was no reason to be in the middle lane, or you were traveling at slow speed and causing a nuisance to other road users. Some people seem to think you should pull in just so they don’t have to move out to the outside lane when exceeding the speed limit. It’s all about common sense and courtesy really.

        • Mick Ramsell 18/05/2017 12:58 PM

          There is NO middle lane on a motorway, The inside lane is called the running lane, the other two on a 3 lane motorway are overtaking lanes. After overtaking you should return to the running lane if it is safe to do so. This is where common sense and experience prevails,

          • Peter 19/05/2017 2:07 PM

            Wrong. Changing lane is the most dangerous thing to do on a motorway, and you should not do so if not required. If you overtake a lorry and are in the middle lane, and you can see another lorry ahead which you will need to pass in a minute or so, why move lane then back again? I only change lane if someone needs past me, or I need past someone else.

        • Eric Hayman 18/05/2017 4:28 PM

          Is Kevin a member of CLOG – Centre Lane Owners’ Group? As for doing the maximum speed, all speedos over-read – mine reads 74 when I am doing 70. Use a satnav to get your real speed.

          • Peter 19/05/2017 2:15 PM

            OLD speedos overread. Modern cars with digitally controlled speedos read almost as well as a satnav.

          • John Murrell 19/05/2017 9:21 PM

            The speed shown on your speedometer depends to some extent on having the correct tyre pressures and how much the tyres are worn. Fitting non-standard tyres will also impact how accurate the speed is if their rolling diameter is different.

          • Peter 19/05/2017 9:29 PM

            Unless you fit weird tyres, there’s no reason the speedo can’t be correct to within 1mph. They were inaccurate in the past because they were mechanical, so they made them overread to prevent pigs from doing your for not realising you were speeding.

    • Peter 16/05/2017 2:31 PM

      Daytime running lights really annoy me, they’re extremely distracting. There’s zero point in having your car lit up during daylight hours, turn them off!! Disconnect them, whatever needs to be done. Lights are to be seen and to see AT NIGHT. I cannot see you more easily with lights during the day, there’s this thing called the sun that makes everything clearly visible. Your lights just take the attention of drivers away from pedestrians and towards you. Save that for the emergency services please.

      • Eric Hayman 18/05/2017 4:36 PM

        “There’s zero point in having your car lit up during daylight hours, ” Go to Norway where it is a legal requirement to have them on at all times. Would you ban motorcyclists from having their headlights on during the day? And what about people who refuse to use headlights until it is totally dark? And what about when driving in rain, eespecially on motorways. You seem very sure of yourself.

        • Peter 19/05/2017 2:20 PM

          In broad daylight lights on cars are pointless. You can see the car easily anyway (if you can’t please surrender your license, as you are obviously too blind to see an object without lights, such as a pedestrian or a dog). Motorbikes have them as they are unusual and smaller and faster, so attention should be drawn to them. But if every car has them on, you don’t see the motorbikes anymore. Or pedestrians. DRLs are dangerous.

          I use sidelights when it’s slightly dark, headlights when it completely dark. You only need taillight/sidelight brightness to see a vehicle. The brighter headlights are for you to see, not to be seen.

  7. Derek Reed 08/05/2017 7:37 PM

    Often see cars with bicycles strapped on the back covering number plates. Never seen one stopped by police.

    • Dave 13/05/2017 1:44 PM

      I was & fined ! Had a new car 2 day old did not have time to get new plate for bikes on rack at rear of car. Explained but still fined .. Hope this has not ruined your weekend they said. Was that a joke

    • Peter 16/05/2017 2:32 PM

      Because it’s not dangerous and most police have some common sense.

      • Eric Hayman 18/05/2017 4:40 PM

        Not dangerous? I had to stop because a bike carrier (without bikes) had fallen off on the carriageway. How it can be legal to modify a car in this way baffles me – but it is just part of the green mania. What do insurance policies say about strapping two or three cars to the rear of a car and having spikes projecting straight at any following vehicle?

  8. Christopher Young 08/05/2017 8:22 PM

    I have seen seen the same thing the car had two people in it smoking or should I say vaping and the driver looked like he was holding a brick in one hand it was that big (so much for been in control). I know you can’t stop people from smoking cigarettes as there addicted but vaping is a habit, the law needs to CHANGE

    • Paul Smith 14/05/2017 5:24 PM

      They is Nicotine in vapeing ,it’s not for show or to be trendy

  9. Joyce Dyer 09/05/2017 8:33 AM

    I agree smoking should be banned at the wheel.

  10. Paul Shepley 09/05/2017 9:19 AM

    What about taking a swig from a bottle of water, or a mug of hot coffee?

  11. Margaret 09/05/2017 9:29 AM

    To say nothing of the actual act of smoking. Both hands should be on the steering wheel at all times, not one to your mouth for any reason.

    • A 13/05/2017 1:28 PM

      Both hands on the wheel? So we can only drive automatics as well?

  12. RYE 09/05/2017 10:26 AM


  13. Michael Omezi 09/05/2017 12:42 PM

    What about when your on the motor way on the fast lane and some other driver is hugging the lane and refusing to moving out of the way. I believe this should be a punishable offence

    • Eileen Ward 13/05/2017 4:29 PM

      If the car in front is doing 70 mph, which is the maximum, why should it move out of your way?

      • Mike Hemingway 15/05/2017 12:54 PM

        Unless you are a traffic officer Eileen Ward what right do you have to police the motorways, if someone is exceeding the speed limit it is not up to you to “prevent” them breaking the law by creating an obstruction. Think safety!

      • Kevin 15/05/2017 3:08 PM

        Whilst I agree with your thinking, I believe current advice is to move over out of the way, if safe to do so, to avoid adding to road rage, it is every persons duty to uphold the law but sometimes it is best left to the police to catch and prosecute these poor drivers who think it is ‘Safe’ to break the law, after all a speeding car has been proved so many times to be a lethal weapon. Hopefully the speeders will catch on to common sense one day, and take some responsibility for their actions instead of coming up with weak excuses.

        • katherine steele 18/05/2017 10:12 AM

          A couple of weeks ago I was driving from hull down the motorway, it was evening so quite empty, and there was a four wheel drive driving down the fast lane, nothing in the middle or in front on me but he was doing the limit and just driving in the one lane. why?

          • John Murrell 19/05/2017 11:01 AM

            Because the driver was hoping to get some points on their licence for not driving in the empty lanes ???

          • Peter 19/05/2017 2:12 PM

            You don’t get points for that. ONCE in my entire 20 years of driving, a police motorbike pointed to the slow lane to tell me to move over. No points, didn’t even stop. You don’t get points for bald tyres or an empty window washer bottle either. Police just aren’t that petty (unless you’re rude to them).

          • Peter 19/05/2017 2:10 PM

            If the road was empty, then he can drive in any lane. Why change lane if nobody is there to pass him or be passed by him?

      • Eric Hayman 18/05/2017 4:42 PM

        Only if it is a TRUE 70 mph. All speerdos over-read, mine by 4 mph at 70 mph.

        • Eric Hayman 18/05/2017 4:44 PM

          For “speerdos” read “speedos”

    • Louise Eveson 15/05/2017 10:09 PM

      No su h thing as a ‘fast lane’; a common misconception. All lanes 70mph, One driving lane and two overtaking lanes.

    • Dutton 16/05/2017 8:46 AM

      There isn’t a fast lane on a motorway. All three lanes are 70mph.
      Lanes 2 and 3 are for overtaking only. Once safely passed the vehicle in front, you should return to lane 1.

      • Peter 16/05/2017 10:57 AM

        It’s called a fast lane, just like a vacuum is called a hoover. If you’re going faster than everyone else, it’s safer to stay in the fast lane instead of changing lanes a lot, which is the main cause of accidents. I do this myself, and move over only if I see someone faster than me in my rearview mirror (which almost never happens!)

        • Mick Ramsell 18/05/2017 1:07 PM

          It’s NOT a fast lane. It’s an overtaking lane, and as for your comment about it being safer to stay in lane three is not only dangerous but stupid beyond belief.

          • Eric 19/05/2017 1:17 PM

            So, the law according to Mick Ramsell?

          • Peter 19/05/2017 2:14 PM

            If you’re going 90 in the fast lane and nobody else is going faster, tell me the point in moving left?

          • John Murrell 19/05/2017 9:18 PM

            If you drive on the 4/5 lane sections of the M25 at quite times such as Saturday evenings it is not unusual to see a stream of cars in the right hand lane all doing 50 – 60 mph all much to close to each other with no one in the other lanes.

            I drive along the left hand lane and often wonder if it is legal to ‘undertake’ them as there are two or three empty lanes between me and the slow ( right hand lane).

            The other good reason to drive in the left hand lane is that if something happens yhou have the hard shoulder to swerve onto which hopefully will be clear.

          • Peter 19/05/2017 9:27 PM

            I overtake or undertake, whichever gets me past the slow people. Roadworks where everyone queues in one lane are great fun.

  14. Colette 09/05/2017 2:34 PM

    Distractions: What about modern cars dashboards these days. Full of buttons and switches requiring attention for everything – radios, in-car entertainment systems, heaters, sat-nav, hands-free phone, etc., etc. Touchscreen systems are worse because you have to look at the display when adjusting almost everything, eg: heating controls (unlike good old fashioned control knobs you can use from memory of position), My Jaguar XF was fully ‘touch screen’ technology – far more intense in concentration than eating a ham roll or holding or lighting a cigarette
    Sadly, people like pretty technology and car designers and manufacturers are happy to oblige.

  15. Maureen Hope 09/05/2017 6:25 PM

    Totally agree. As a hazard they are worse than a cigarette.

  16. Naina Hutley 09/05/2017 8:29 PM

    I believe it is illegal to puff out smoke from your exhaust pipe Likewise it should be so from any other aperture within the car!

  17. michael edward painter 10/05/2017 7:56 AM

    It is still amazing that you can still legally use CB radio whilst driving.

    • John Murrell 19/05/2017 11:06 AM

      They can’t ban PMR radios such as CB, etc as if they did the Police would not be able to use their radios while driving as seen on most of the Police Programmes on the TV. I have never been sure why PMRs are safe if mobile phones are not – perhaps someone can explain ?

      • Eric 19/05/2017 1:15 PM

        Equally absurd is police motorcyclists using helmet radios – diverting their attention from what is on the road to think about what they are being told and what they are saying.

      • Peter 19/05/2017 2:13 PM

        Because the police are above the law. CBs are safe, so are mobiles. Do you drive with two hands on the wheel all the time? If so how do you change gear?

  18. Roy Hawkins 10/05/2017 8:21 AM

    If the police still can’t stop idiots on mobile phones, how do you expect them to enforce this kind of law???????? Electronic devices, sometime incorrectly referred to as electronic cigarettes, do NOT produce smoke, it’s vapour. Those of us blessed with any common sense will simply open a window.

  19. Edward Merrick 10/05/2017 2:15 PM

    What about keeping your foot on the foot brake while stationery at traffic lights. Blinding?

    • Robert Miles 12/05/2017 3:27 PM

      It is safer to use the foot brake while stationary in traffic because it locks the front wheels and if you are hit from behind, your vehicle has less chance of being pushed forward. Where as the hand brake only locks the rear wheels and if hit from behind the impact will tend to lift the rear of your vehicle and push you forward

    • Mary 14/05/2017 12:24 PM

      No, its not blinding, even if it can be classed as “offensive”… sometimes you cant tell that a person is stopped when coming up behind unless the brake lights ARE on… I hit someone like that as there were no brake lights lit and that caused a rear-ender.

      • John Murrell 15/05/2017 11:09 AM

        There is a legal requirement to apply your handbrake ( parking brake) when stationary so why keep your foot on the footbrake and annoy those behind you ?

        • Peter 16/05/2017 10:58 AM

          Since when? I never do that. I use my footbrake when in a queue, even for hillstarts. The handbrake is for parking.

          • John Murrell 16/05/2017 3:45 PM

            Peter since at least 1989 and probably before that. Rule 114 in the Highway Code states ‘In stationary queues of traffic, drivers should apply the parking brake and, once the following traffic has stopped, take their foot off the footbrake to deactivate the vehicle brake lights. This will minimise glare to road users behind until the traffic moves again.
            Law RVLR reg 27’

      • Mike Hemingway 15/05/2017 12:56 PM

        Let me get this right, you ran into the back of a stationary vehicle and it was his fault because he didn’t have his brake lights on!!!! Unbelievable!!

        • Andy 15/05/2017 8:58 PM


  20. Carole 10/05/2017 3:57 PM

    I have always said smoking should not be allowed in moving cars. What if you drop a cigarette or the end of it and are being burnt, you are hardly likely to be concentrating on your driving. I am surprised this was not banned long ago.

    • Peter 16/05/2017 11:45 AM

      You knock it off your leg with your hand, no big deal.

      • Eric Hayman 18/05/2017 4:47 PM

        Really? And what if it drops between your legs? Do you start poking for a burning cigarette while moving? And where are your eyes?

  21. Brian Brice 10/05/2017 4:50 PM

    As in all public places smoking at the wheel should be banned, if you are not allowed to eat at the wheel why should smoking be allowed, the simple act of lighting up a cigarette would most definitely take your mind off the road and possibly cause a serious accident

    • simhedges 14/05/2017 11:31 AM

      A car is not a public place.

      • John Murrell 14/05/2017 3:36 PM

        If the vehicle is owned by a company it is illegal to smoke in it unless it is provided for and only used by the driver. Note there is nothing said about time in this so once someone has smoked in a company vehicle no one else bcan ever use it and it can only be scrapped.

        To demonstrate compliance it is best to have all the other seats taken out.

        • John Murrell 17/05/2017 5:04 PM

          Found the relevant law – it is in section 86 of The Traffic Management Act 2004 available on the website if you want to read the detail.

      • Eric Hayman 18/05/2017 4:50 PM

        Sorry, but if a vehicle is used for any business purpose it is illegal to smoke in it. Health at work legislation.

  22. Prescotian 10/05/2017 6:06 PM

    Smoking means carrying a fire stick in a car that relies for motion on highly inflammable petrol. No Brainer for a ban!

    • Peter 16/05/2017 11:45 AM

      The petrol isn’t inside the car. Otherwise every time you operated a headlight switch the spark would set it off.

  23. ROGER CULVERWELL 10/05/2017 8:12 PM

    Smoking is banned in most company vehicles,but look at trucks and vans now it seems to have fallen on deaf ears thousands of drivers still doing it.

  24. Anne 10/05/2017 10:15 PM

    What about all those cars whose lights don’t work properly, this is really dangerous. Never met anyone charged with this and yet guarantee I will see at least 2 faulty lights in the dark on any short journey!

    • Peter 16/05/2017 11:44 AM

      Round here there are regular spot checks. Police pull over the oldest tattiest looking cars and check the lights and tyres and so forth. I always get a pink slip for something!

    • katherine steele 18/05/2017 10:16 AM

      agree, what a nuisance. You think you have a bike driving towards you and find out it’s a huge vehicle with most of the drives side in your lane, which you can’t see cos there are no lights. Is this illegal then, you wouldn’t think so in Sheffield because there are loads of them.

  25. steve cockran 11/05/2017 10:08 AM

    my pet hate is private or altered number plates thousands of them, surely ANPR cameras are effected by them

  26. carl 11/05/2017 1:18 PM

    It should be a legal requirement that if a cycle path runs alongside a road, then the cyclist should use the cycle lane or be prosecuted, they also should have at least 3rd party insurance

  27. Dave 11/05/2017 3:42 PM

    What about people with Satnav’s the size of a wide screen TV stuck in the middle of the windscreen causing a very large blindspot

  28. Andrew 11/05/2017 5:07 PM

    In see a geat number of vehicles with one or more defective lights. Dangerous – causes misjudgment on the part of other road users. I have lived in other European countries for the past 35 years where this is not tolerated and find that there is no reason why this should be tolerated in the UK.

  29. Richard Stamper 12/05/2017 12:57 PM

    Let’s get this smoking in the car thing into perspective. I was a 40k mile year driver and I smoked in the car for 30 years (now stopped mind). In all that time I can’t recall one incident, nor any from any of my friends who were smokers. The last time I received a speeding fine was 1984, I haven’t had any accidents or parking fines in all that time. Basically. responsible people act responsibly. How bad am I?

    • Robert Miles 13/05/2017 8:33 AM

      Richard. You are an angel .LOL

    • John Murrell 14/05/2017 3:40 PM

      Of course those who died as a result of smoking while driving are not here to comment !

    • Rodney Baugh 15/05/2017 12:42 PM

      Is it about time to leave smokers alone,

      • Peter 16/05/2017 11:43 AM

        Agreed. I’m not a smoker but really don’t care what they do. I’m even happy to have them smoke next to me. It’s not going to kill me to inhale it for a millionth of the time they are.

  30. John W 13/05/2017 9:41 AM

    What about a driver stopping for no other reason than to let a car out of a side street and making cars behind brake?

  31. Alan Bohee 13/05/2017 3:55 PM

    I think the fashion of wearing dark glasses no matter what the weather are a menace when someone is driving. The police have a meter that tests the light allowed through tinted windows. If they used this on most sunglasses I expect they would fail. They are not needed except in the brightest of sunshine (which is not seen that often in this country) and should not be worn just to look ‘cool’

    • Capital B 16/05/2017 7:28 AM

      I have been told by an optician to always wear sunglasses outside in daylight and I even have to wear them when the sky is bright with white clouds, because I have pale eyes and larger than average pupils and am at risk of damage to my retinas. Perhaps you do not have an issue with light, but may people do and are entitled to use personal protective equipment as is appropriate for them. There is not just one view of the world. Also there are legal limits on the tints for windows and windscreens already in force.

      • Peter 16/05/2017 11:42 AM

        They shouldn’t allow darkened windows at the back either, it stops the car behind seeing anything you might be stopping for.

  32. pete 13/05/2017 8:17 PM

    unless you have driven a car 250 miles with the wife asleep and 2.5 kids fighting it out in the back you don’t know what distraction means, if it had been an offence I would have handed myself in at the nearest nick.

  33. Jennifer 14/05/2017 8:54 AM

    If you can’t eat while driving, you shouldn’t be able to smoke. How dangerous is dropped food?! And yes, take your foot off the foot brake when stationary. What do you think the hand brake is for?!

  34. Steve Wood 14/05/2017 11:06 AM

    Which is the fast lane on the motorway. I thought you could legally do 70mph in any lane.

    • Peter 16/05/2017 11:41 AM

      An undercover cop actually once told me it was ok to do 95 in his Mercedes, but not my 4×4. I asked for it in writing. We had a good laugh and he let me off. The moral of this is, be friendly with the cop that pulls you over, brighten his day, talk about something else, you don’t get points then.

      • Eric Hayman 18/05/2017 4:53 PM

        And exactly why do you drive a 4×4 at all? And at 95 mph?

  35. Mac 14/05/2017 1:43 PM

    At the risk if being accused of sexism, I’ve noticed when following cars with two or more female occupants, that women seem unable to carry out a conversation without constantly looking at one another. Should we also ban talking in cars?
    Also, what about prescription drugs? There is no check on drivers using these.
    Let’s get it in perspective… More accidents are caused by idiots than by distractions!

  36. John Murrell 14/05/2017 3:38 PM

    It is also illegal to drive onto the pavement while carrying out a 3 point turn even if there is a dropped curb at the location. A dropped curb only allows you to cross and recross though you will need the property owners permission to cross into the house drive. I see several a day in the narrow road near me.

    • Peter 16/05/2017 11:39 AM

      Needs must. But what I find irritating is people who reverse into their drives. One recently drove past me (I was walking along the pavement), then reversed into his drive and would have run me over if I didn’t run out of the way. I tried to tell him to use his mirror, or more sensibly drive in forwards, but he wouldn’t listen. I pointed to his young daughter in the car and said “next time it might be her”. He went a bit quiet.

      • Eric Hayman 18/05/2017 4:57 PM

        “But what I find irritating is people who reverse into their drives.” If you do not reverse in, then you must reverse out – and into a road with passing traffic. Reversing in is much safer. So what is “more sensible” about driving forwards into a driveway and reversing into a busy road?

  37. jaden harrison 14/05/2017 8:59 PM

    its a pitty some of you haven’t got better things to think about,smoking has been around longer than most of you,if all the smokers packed in and you were taxed highly to compensate for the revenue lost by no smoking.what about all the idiots who drive a modern car that has not got indicators,and people who have got no idea how to drive properly 70% of the drivers on the roads,its a joke.we will be prosecuted for breathing next.oh by the way I am a professional hgv 1 driver of 44 years and have seen it all.change the record.

    • Kevin 15/05/2017 3:26 PM

      So are you saying 70% of HGV 1 drivers have got no idea how to drive properly?
      If so I would definitely agree with you.
      I bet the lost revenue from smoking could also be recouped from the savings the NHS would make on treating smoking related diseases. (Just to balance the argument).

    • John Sharman 15/05/2017 4:19 PM

      All vehicles have indicators it’s those drivers that don’t know how to use them.

      • Peter 16/05/2017 11:37 AM

        Worse are the BMWs with orange front sidelights! They’re basically showing a left indicator all the time to anyone coming out of a sidestreet, or a pedestrian trying to cross.

  38. joyce james 15/05/2017 7:40 AM

    I never knew the speed limit was only 60 miles per hour … when driving my ford connect van along the local duel carriageway until I was done for speeding …..

    • John Murrell 15/05/2017 11:00 AM

      The speed limits are shown at The speed limit for most vans is 60 mph. Also note there are different restrictions on vehicles over 1.5 tons one of which is that if they are parked on the highway at night they must have their parling lights left on (owners of Land Rovers, Range Rovers and other 4×4’s please note). The exemption for parking without lights is only for vehicles less than 1.5 tonns parked in way that complies with the requirements shown in the Highway Code.

      • Paul Shepley 15/05/2017 11:17 AM

        How out of date / unenforced is this rule?

      • Peter 16/05/2017 3:58 PM

        “Should” is not a law. The HC contains should (advisory) and must (laws). And as for dazzling the motorist behind, you can’t be serious. A 21W brakelight is nothing compared to the ridiculously bright DRLs that are facing me and bright white.

        • Peter 16/05/2017 3:59 PM

          P.S this reply is in the wrong place as this forum is screwed up.

        • John Murrell 16/05/2017 6:52 PM

          DLRs should only be used during daylight. I beleive the requirement is that only 5W ‘parking’ lights or headlights should be used at night. Headlights also have to be switched off when the vehicle is stationary.

          • Peter 16/05/2017 6:58 PM

            The problem is DRLs during the day. There is no reason whatsoever to light up your car in broad daylight. It’s a distraction and dangerous. If you can’t see an unlit car in the middle of the day, your eyesight is defective and you shouldn’t be driving.

          • John Murrell 16/05/2017 7:02 PM

            DRLs were invented by either Volvo or SAAB and are intended to make cars more visible to pedestrians. I beleive this was confirmed by the reduction in the number of pedestrian accidents. The feature was then adopted as a safety measure by the EU though it took 15 to 20 years to appear on current cars.

          • Peter 16/05/2017 7:13 PM

            (In reply to John Murrell, the threading has gone to pot again)

            “DRLs were invented by either Volvo or SAAB and are intended to make cars more visible to pedestrians. I beleive this was confirmed by the reduction in the number of pedestrian accidents. The feature was then adopted as a safety measure by the EU though it took 15 to 20 years to appear on current cars.”

            Lies, damn lies and statistics. I can tell you it’s harder to see pedestrians as they’re unlit and all the cars are now lit, that cannot be safer for them. It’s not a legal requirement in the UK, so you can legally disconnect the bloody things and make the roads safer. Jesus Christ, some are actually brighter than dipped beam! It’s the same as driving around with full beam on all the time and nobody in their right mind would ever do that.


          • John Murrell 16/05/2017 7:53 PM


            There is a legal requirement to fit them see : European Directive 76/656/EEC, as amended by 2008/89/EC, concerning the installation of lighting and light -signalling devices on motor vehicles and their trailers.

            I am not sure if you can legally disconnect them. If you do you probably need to inform your insurance company as this is a ‘modification’

          • Peter 16/05/2017 8:05 PM

            I live in the UK, not Europe, I don’t abide by EU law. We left the EU. As for my insurance company, what they don’t know won’t hurt them.

          • Eric Hayman 18/05/2017 5:02 PM

            For Peter’s benefit, the UK is part of Europe – that is how we are part of the European Union.

  39. John Sharman 15/05/2017 10:27 AM

    Did you know that 75% of motorist drive over the speed limit on motorways in the UK.

    • Peter 16/05/2017 11:36 AM

      Including me. It’s safer. I have on occasion (a trial of fuel economy) driven slower, and it’s more dangerous, constantly changing lanes to overtake trucks etc. Much better to sit in the fast lane and go at a steady 95.

      • Eric Hayman 18/05/2017 5:03 PM

        ” Much better to sit in the fast lane and go at a steady 95.” That admission negates everything you have posted here.

  40. colin 15/05/2017 4:32 PM

    Jeez, there are some holier than thou posters on here aren’t there !

  41. Pete 15/05/2017 6:48 PM

    What about singing along with radio while driving , waving at someone you know, cocking your leg up to fart as it will unbalance you, driving with sunglasses on cloudy days. What a money extracting totalitarian society we live in.


  42. moaning lee 16/05/2017 4:04 PM

    How about cars that aren’t maintained properly or buses that chuck out racks of black smoke?

  43. Bram Nash 17/05/2017 1:03 PM

    Here’s an interesting one! It is illegal to park across someone’s driveway to prevent them from “accessing the highway”. However, it is NOT illegal to park across a driveway when no vehicle is present at the property. Thus, you can deny access FROM the highway, except where disabled access is clearly marked. I can imagine the arguments this situation might provoke!!

      • Eric Hayman 18/05/2017 5:05 PM

        AFAIK it is only an offence to park across a driveway if there is a white line (or yellow line) across the road in front of it.

    • John Murrell 17/05/2017 4:53 PM

      I agree with Peter, the law was changed some time ago so parking across a dropped Kerb is illegal in all circumstances. This may be a result of the legislation regarding dropped curbs to make it easier for pedestrians to cross.

      • Peter 17/05/2017 7:45 PM

        What ticks me off is certain councils (Hull for example) which object to people making a driveway in their own home without “authorisation”. They actually bollarded someone’s driveway off for doing so. Because of what? His kerb wasn’t lowered? That will only damage his own car by driving up it.

        • John Murrell 17/05/2017 8:26 PM

          If there is no dropped curb there is no authority to cross the pavement so people doing it can be fined for driving on the pavement as you can if you park with any wheel(s) on th epavement except in those places where notices show it is allowed.

          • Peter 17/05/2017 8:52 PM

            That’s just petty nonsense. A dropped kerb doesn’t magically change anything, apart from the ease of driving up it. You’re not endangering pedestrians any more than if you had a dropped kerb. Round here it’s common to see people putting their own lump of concrete, or one of those rubber things, or even a plank of wood to make it easier to drive onto their home made drive. My council is sensible enough to leave them to it.

          • Peter 17/05/2017 8:54 PM

            And people regularly park on the pavement everywhere, it’s only disallowed in London AFAIK. It’s sensible to park half on the pavement if it allows traffic to pass more easily in a narrow street.

            What should be illegal is idiots who park on the opposite side of the road to everyone else! How stupid do you have to be to do that?

          • Eric Hayman 18/05/2017 5:08 PM

            After Murphy’s Law – Peter’s Law.

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