At Trust My Garage, we’re committed to keeping motorists across the nation safe – and that means not breaking driving laws! We’ve put together a list of little-known ways that you could get penalty points on your driving licence, and how to avoid them. Take a look at our list below.
- Distracted driving. Eating, drinking, applying make-up, or changing CDs while driving can rack up between three to nine penalty points – as well as the potential for a £100 fine! These acts are not illegal, but they can severely distract a motorist – and distracted driving is against the law.
How to avoid it: Stay focused on the roads, and if you need to take your hands off the wheel, find a place to pull over safely and adjust yourself and your vehicle accordingly before setting off again.
- Parking poorly. Parking can strike fear into the hearts of many drivers – nobody wants to get it wrong in front of a queue of impatient drivers! However; if you have parked in a way that obstructs the road, pavement or any other inappropriate location, you could be charged with leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position.
How to avoid it: Look around before parking and consider whether the area you wish to park in is safe – if it isn’t, move on! It will be safer and cheaper than a fine.
- Not keeping your licence up-to-date. Every 10 years you must renew the photograph on your photo card driving licence – you will usually receive a reminder from the DVLA. If you don’t update your information when instructed, your licence will be revoked.
How to avoid it: Pay attention to when your driving licence is due to be renewed and be sure to keep any address information up-to-date with the DVLA.
- S-no-w joke in Winter. Failing too clear snow from your vehicle’s roof can land you with a £60 fine and three penalty points. Snow and ice can obscure a driver’s view – and even fall off and obstruct the view of other drivers.
How to avoid it: Before setting off, be sure your vehicle is clear of snow and ice, and that it cannot obstruct any other drivers.
- Splashing a pedestrian. Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 specifies it is an offence to ‘drive without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road’. This includes driving through a puddle on the road that could cause a pedestrian to be splashed. With 63 such incidents reported from 2009-2014, soaking a passer-by is not the way to go to keep a clean licence!
How to avoid it: Try to avoid any puddles in the road, but if impossible slow down to avoid any heavy splash onto the pavement – it’ll be better for your car too!
- Paws on the loose. Motorists must restrain their pets appropriately when driving. Having an unsecured animal in the car could be hazardous to your safety and your wallet! If police decide you’ve been driving without proper control due to a pet you can be hit with a fine from £200 – £2,500, and receive up to nine penalty points.
How to avoid it: Ensure any pets that you travel with have appropriate restraints and cannot distract you while driving – it may be better to keep animals in the rear of your vehicle to help avoid issues.
- Keep your speed low. Unless signposted, most streetlamp-lit roads operate a 30mph policy. Breaking this speed limit can lead to a £100 fine and three penalty points, minimum.
How to avoid it: Be speed aware! Drive carefully and stay under the speed limit. If you’re not sure what it is and the road is streetlamp lit, assume it is 30mph to be safe.
- Keep your eyes peeled. Is your eyesight up to scratch? As a driver, it’s vital you keep up to date with sight checks. If poor eyesight leads to careless driving you could face a fine of up to £1,000 and three penalty points on your licence.
How to avoid it: Schedule regular appointments with an optician, and if you feel any eyestrain beginning to occur – whether driving or not – book an appointment sooner to catch any potential issues early on.
About Trust My Garage
Trust My Garage is a collection of Britain’s best local garages – every one different and every one dedicated to the highest standards of skill and personal service.
All the garages in Trust My Garage are members of the Independent Garage Association which is part of the RMI, one of Britain’s oldest motor trade organisations. IGA members are true professionals who have to comply with a strict code of practice.
Each and every customer of all Trust My Garage members can rely on using a nationally recognised brand. If there’s a problem that can’t be sorted out between you and your garage, the IGA takes over and helps to achieve a happy outcome.
For more information about Trust My Garage or to locate your nearest TMG member visit www.trustmygarage.co.uk.