Covering UK Road Laws and Their Implication

by  |  On June 19th, 2017  |  In Tips & Guides

Experts at Van Monster have shared results of their research on various road laws across UK, along with brief implication of the laws.

Rule 148: No Smoking with a Minor

Smoking is prohibited for everyone while driving/ riding with a person below the age of 18 in private vehicles across UK and Wales. The rule extends to all passengers on board with the minor.

Consequences of Breaking this Rule

Law breakers can face a fine of £50.

Situation on Ground

A total of 42 police forces responded to disclose the statistics and findings on this rule in accordance with Freedom of Information Act on request from BBC.

As of June 29th, 2016, no fines have been imposed on UK and Wale’s travellers, however verbal warnings have been issued. Details are as follows:

  • 2 oral notices/ warnings issued by Metropolitan police
  • 4 oral notices/ warnings issued by Dyfed-Powys police
  • 1 oral notice/ warning issued by Devon & Cornwall police
Covering UK Road Laws and Their Implication

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Rule 90: Reporting a Health Condition

In case of a health condition that can adversely affect the driving, youmust report to DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).

Consequences of Breaking the Law

Law breakers can be prosecuted or a fine of £1,000 can be imposed

Situation on Ground

On digging deeper to know the ground realities, it was found that 30% of drivers above the age of 65 years face some serious medical condition like epilepsy, heart problems, eye problems, diabetes etc. However, almost 50% have failed to get them registered at DVLA under this law.
Approximately, about 25% of such motorists have a noticeable condition, but 10% don’t disclose this vital info to DVLA.

Rule 92: Use of Glasses/ Spectacles

Drivers needing glasses or contact lenses to read vehicle registration number from 20 meters away (20.5 meters in case of old styled registration plates),must wear spectacles/ contact lenses during driving all the time.

Punishment forBreaking the Law

A fineof £1000 along with deduction of 3 points or an optional ban.

Situation on Ground

A recent study conducted on 1000 spectacle wearers brought in a figure of 12.5% people not abiding to this rule while driving.

Rule 96: Driving Under the Influence of Drugs/ Medications

Driving under the influence of specific drugs is prohibited. Drivers need to seek professional advice from doctors in case they are prescribed following medicine:

  • Amphetamine (also including Dexamphetamine or Selegiline)
  • Clonazepam
  • Diazepam
  • Flunitrazepam
  • Lorazepam
  • Methadone
  • Opioid based medicine; including Morphine, Opiate, Codeine, Tramadol and Fentanyl
  • Oxazepam
  • Temazepam

Punishment forBreaking the Law

Driver found guilty of infringing this rule can get:

  • A Driving ban for at least one year
  • Fine depending upon the offence and damage caused
  • Imprisonment for up to half a year (6 months)
  • Additionally, driving licence will be maligned with conviction for 11 years and a criminal record will be added

Situation on Ground

IAM, Institute of Advanced Motorists, disclosed statistics under Freedom of Information Act, revealing arrest of more than 400 drivers per month (from March to May 2015) under the influence of medicine/ drugs.

Breakdown of the arrests came in as follows:

214 arrests were made from 2nd March till 11th May by Metropolitan police alone, depicting highest number of arrests in revealed statistics.

  • 97 arrests were made by Northumbria police.
  • 70 arrests were made by Cheshire and another 58 were brought in by Sussex forces, while 55 arrests were made by South Yorkshire police during the stipulated period.

Rule 99: Seat Belts are a Must

Seat belts need to be worn at all times in all private and industrial vehicles. For public transport vehicles, all passengers need to fasten the belts including children.Use child restraints for children below 14 years of age, when available. There are a few exemptions, which are detailed below:
•    Rider or driver making a delivery in his/her official delivery vehicle while covering less than 50 meters need not to follow this rule.
•    Also, if someone can provide a medical exemption certificate,they can also be exempted from this rule.

PunishmentforBreaking the Law

On the spot fine of £100, which can go as high as £500 if put on trial.

Situation on Ground

Pertaining to high awareness rate and proved life-saving capabilities of seat belts, the 2015 survey by Department for Transport revealed that compliance rate for this rule is 95.3% across England and Scotland.

  • More than 98% of drivers in England and Scotland strictly follow this rule.
  • Also, almost 95% passengers riding on front, along with driver, adhere to this rule in the said region.
  • More than 90% of rear seat passengers use either seat belts or child restraints.

Rule 109: Following Light Signals and Traffic Signs

The law enforcement agency in the UK asks to follow all light signals and traffic signs. Failure to obey that and you can get a fine of £100 along with three penalty points on your driving licence.

Situation on Ground

Here are the top 20 roads in the UK where drivers were caught running a red light in 2015:

Name of road & location Constabulary Number of motorists caught running a red light in 2015
A523 The Silk Road, Macclesfield Cheshire Constabulary 2,552
A610 Nuthall Island, East Bound, Nottingham Nottinghamshire Police 1,700
A167 Durham Road (South), Gateshead Northumbria Police 1,543
A56 Great Ducie Street, Junction with Trinity Way, Manchester Greater Manchester Police 1,459
Victoria Street/Crosshall Street, Merseyside Merseyside Police 1,458
A34 Kingsway, Junction with Gatley Road, Stockport Greater Manchester Police 1,349
A635 Manchester Road, Junction with Ashton Hill Lane, Tameside Greater Manchester Police 1,314
A556 Chester Road, Junction with Dalefords Lane, Sandiway Cheshire Constabulary 1,160
A6514 Valley Road / Vernon Road, Basford, Nottingham (N) Nottinghamshire Police 1,130
A61 Upper Hanover Street, Junction with Glossop Road, Sheffield South Yorkshire Police 1,055
A308 Staines Raod West, Junction Chertsey Road, Ashford Surrey Police 977
Northway (A59)/ Hall Lane, Maghull Merseyside Police 887
Crosby Road South/Cambridge Road, Crosby Merseyside Police 883
A127 Southend Arterial Road, Junction with Progress Road, Leigh-on-Sea Essex Police 863
A27 Upper Brighton Road, Junction with Hillbarn Lane, Sussex Sussex Police 789
London Road, Oxford Thames Valley Police 709
A1018 North Bridge Street (N), Sunderland Northumbria Police 657
A610 Nuthall Island, West Bound, Nottingham (W) Nottinghamshire Police 639
A24 Buck Barn crossroads, Sussex Sussex Police 610
Ladymead, Junction Woodbridge Road, Guildford Surrey Police 559

Rule 124: New Exceed the Speed Limit

As is the case in every other country, motorists should not exceed the maximum speed limit for a road and for a vehicle. The speed violators can get a fine of £100 along with three penalty points on their driving licence. Below are the stipulated speed limits.

Vehicle type Built-up area Single carriageway Dual carriageway Motorway
Cars and motorcycles (car-derived vans up to two tonnes maximum laden weight included) 30mph 60mph 70mph 70mph
Cars towing caravans or trailers (car-derived vans and motorcycles included) 30mph 50mph 60mph 60mph
Buses, coaches and minibuses (though not exceeding 12 metres in overall length) 30mph 50mph 60mph 70mph
Goods vehicles (though not exceeding 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight) 30mph 50mph 60mph 70mph*
Goods vehicles in England and Wales (when exceeding 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight) 30mph 50mph 60mph 60mph
Goods vehicles in Scotland (when exceeding 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight) 30mph 40mph 50mph 60mph

*This speed limit is reduced to 60mph if the goods vehicle is articulated or towing a trailer.

Situation on Ground

With each passing year, the speed violators are increasing. Below are the findings of Freedom of Information Act:

1. Top five hotspots for speeding in 2015

Road Police force Number of speeding offences recorded
M6 Cheshire Constabulary 12,442
M25 Junction 5 Kent Police 12,330
Scotland Road, Liverpool Merseyside Police 11,760
M6 Toll Road Warwickshire Police 10,858
A358 Avon and Somerset Police 10,338

2. Fastest drivers caught by police forces in 2015

Road Police force Speed
A556 Cheshire Constabulary 147mph
A31 Hampshire Constabulary 144mph
M25 Kent Police 142mph
A1 Lincolnshire Police 142mph
A4146 Thames Valley Police 142mph

Apart from these, there are various other laws on driving and parking. The parking related rules can be searched by clicking here.

Suhail is a journalist who loves everything about technology driven cars. He keeps a keen eye on the latest developments in automotive industry and shares the news as it breaks.

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