Driving Offences in the UK

If you’re driving and you see blue flashing lights in your rear-view mirror, a couple of things go through your head:

Number one, “is that for me?”

And number two, “but I didn’t do anything wrong?”

However, there are a number of driving offences that you could be committing everyday without even realising.

So before you find yourself pleading your innocence to an officer on the side of an A road, consider these driving offences:

  • Have you been speeding?
  • Are you driving without a licence or insurance?
  • Have you consumed any substances that you shouldn’t have?

The above points are the most common reasons behind illegal driving.

#1 How Clean Are Your Registration Plates?

Did you know that driving a vehicle without legal or clean registration plates is a driving offence?

Although, it may seem minor, it is still a careless traffic offence. Failing to provide your vehicle with legal registration plates will result in the following:

  • Up to a £1000 fine
  • Fail on your MOT

So how do you know if your registration plates are legal? To ensure that your vehicle is not committing any driving offences, ensure that your plates meet the following criteria:

  • Be created using only a reflective material
  • The front plate should display only black characters on a white background
  • The rear plate should display only black characters on a yellow background
  • Ensure that there is no background pattern present

#2 Get The Road Rage Monkey Off Your Back

You may not believe it, but by driving aggressively and shouting at other road users you are in fact committing a traffic offence.

A worrying statistic stated that over 60% of fatalities on the road where caused by aggressive driving.

Traffic Offences UK

[source:safemotorist.com]

What causes even more cause for concern is the fact that you could be committing road rage motoring offences and not even realise it!

Quickly ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I drive over the speed limit on a regular basis, or try to beat red lights?
  • Do I tailgate or flash my lights at other motorists?
  • Am I an avid “horn-honker” on a regular basis?
  • Have I ever used aggressive language or gestures when driving?

If you have answered yes to just one of these questions – then I’m afraid to say that you have committed a road rage offence.

Even if you haven’t committed any of the above motoring offences, you may have been the cause.

If you answered no, go ahead and answer these questions too:

  • Do I use my phone when I am driving?
  • Do I keep my full beam on when driving through country roads?
  • Have I ever changed lanes or direction without a signal?
  • Do you always check your mirrors and blindspots?

We complete a lot of driving instructor training, and many of those new instructors have gained bad habits over the years.

Fortunately, our courses enable them to rediscover their safe driving ability to teach our endless supply of new pupils.

#3 Great Night! Should I Really Be Driving?

Simple answer – No!

There is no doubt that a drink driving offence is one of the most serious out there.

The severity of a guilty drink driving motoring offence can vary, but you can certainly expect to receive something along the lines of the following:

  • Up to a £5000 fine
  • A community sentence, electronically tagged curfew or even up to 6 months in prison
  • Disqualification from driving for up to 12 months
  • Up to a 3 year disqualification if you have been found guilty on more than one occasion
  • Loss of employment
  • Increased insurance payments
  • A criminal record

All in all – it’s not really worth it, is it?

Some drivers are even over the limit after they have stopped consuming alcohol. Depending on the amount consumed, the presence of alcohol can still be in the body up to 16 hours later!

If you are going to be consuming alcohol, try not to be careless and stick to the limits. The current legal driving limits for alcohol consumption are:

  • 35 micrograms in 100ml of breath
  • 80mg in 100ml of blood
  • 107mg in 100ml of urine

For all of our driving lessons Blackburn, we ensure that our instructors have not consumed anything within the last 48 hours.

This makes sure that they’re in the best possible condition to teach our pupils how to drive safely, without clouding their judgement or driving ability.

Motoring Offences in the UK

#4 The Dangers of Drug Driving

Now this isn’t an everyday driving offence, but it is worth pointing out nonetheless.

After a little research, we found that there are two main offences that reform around drug driving. It’s illegal to drive if:

  • You are unfit to do so because of legal or illegal drugs in your system
  • You have a certain level of illegal drugs in your system

Of course, some motorists take prescribed, legal drugs and still drive perfectly safely.

However, there are some legal drugs that you should consult your doctor about before you get behind the wheel.

There are 12 prescribed drugs that you should talk to a doctor about:

  • Amphetamines (Dexamphetamine or Selegiline)
  • Clonazepam
  • Diazepam
  • Flunitrazepam
  • Lorazepam
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Tramadol
  • Fentanyl
  • Oxazepam
  • Temazepam

Important – There is still a chance that you could be prosecuted with these legal drugs in your system and you have not been prescribed them.

The safest thing to do is simple – don’t drug drive.

If you are found guilty of drug driving, you will:

  • Receive a 12 month driving ban
  • Be the recipient of an unlimited fine
  • Face up to 6 months in prison
  • Receive a criminal record

#5 The Digital Dilemma, Leave Your Phone

Recently in the UK, the laws that surround the use of a mobile phone in a car have changed.

Using a mobile phone when driving will result in:

  • 6 penalty points on your driving licence
  • A £200 fine
  • A motoring ban
  • Receive a maximum fine of £1000 or £2500 if you drive a lorry or bus

Find out more on driving with a mobile phone here.

Answer us this simple question:

Do you use your phone when stopped at a red light?

If so, you could be breaking the law and it is only a matter of time before a police officer catches you.

You are technically breaking the law if you:

  • Use your phone at a red light or stop sign
  • Use your phone or tablet when queuing in traffic
  • If you supervise a learner driver

Many or our instructors that provide driving lessons Aylesbury use mobile devices to help teach their pupils.

Fortunately, the use of a mobile device is allowed when:

  • The vehicle is safely parked with the ignition off
  • If you ever need to call 999 or the emergency services

Careless Driving Offences

Drive Safely and Use What You Have Learned

Don’t panic. If you have discovered a few driving offences that you are guilty of, we’re not going to go running to the police.

However, use these 5 actionable driving offences to change the way you use your vehicle every day.

There are traffic driving offences committed daily and the UK’s enforcement teams are improving year on year.

Use the following to reduce the chances of committing a careless motoring offence:

  • Keep your registration plates clean and legal (See point #1)
  • Take action against your road rage (See point #2)
  • Under no circumstances should you be drink driving (See point #3)
  • Consult your GP if you take prescribed drugs (See point #4)
  • Avoid using a mobile phone. Out of sight, out of mind (See point #5)