Motorists, who don’t understand how the Highway Code works may be unknowingly land themselves with heavy financial punishments, and recent studies have suggested that most people don’t fully understand the Highway Code and all the rules laid out within it.
There are lots of common mistakes that can be made by people who are just trying to drive their cars because they don’t have a proper understanding of the code.
For example, there are nine sections of the Highway Code that were updated last year. Fifty rules were either added to the code or amended, and 61% of motorists seemingly don’t know that these updates even took place.
Generally speaking, recent updates are there to protect vulnerable road users like cyclists, but any careless incidences of cycling could see the rider given a £1000 fine. A good example of an offence being committed would be if the cyclist wasn’t paying sufficient attention to their surroundings or the roads that they are cycling on.
Generally speaking, riding on the pavement is also discouraged in the Highway Code, and it’s possible to receive a £500 fine for doing so. With that being said, the standard goes both ways. If a driver puts a cyclist at risk by crossing over to the pavement, they will also be fined.
A rule that most people might not know about is that if you are driving in bad weather, you should never put your lights on full. The brighter lights are distracting for other drivers, and you could risk being given a fine.
Most people understand that when it comes to using their phones behind the wheel of a car, it’s illegal. However, if you use your phone while you’re sitting in the passenger seat, under rules introduced last year, you could also be punished. For example, if you are supervising a learner driver, and you touch your mobile phone at any point, you could be fined up to £1000 for doing so.
Using a smartwatch when you get behind the wheel of a car is also a no-no. Any device which takes your eyes off the road for even a moment is a breach of the Highway Code.
Christian Williams is from a car competitions company called BOTB, and says the following about cars:
"Mobile phones have been banned while driving for almost 20 years, but you may not be aware that any device is illegal to operate while driving a vehicle. Specifically, the Highway Code states that the ban applies to holding or using any device that can send and receive data.
Drivers might be caught out by an attempted act of kindness. After passing a speed camera, Brits might be tempted to flash their fellow road users to warn them of what’s just ahead or around the corner. But this is a pretty serious offence under the Highway Code and could see you left with an £1,000 fine.