ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Road Laws – Part One

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Road Laws – Part One

As drivers, we need a clear understanding of UK road laws — but just how much do you know? Van retailer Van Monster has created the following article to breakdown some of the most essential UK road laws, providing you with a greater understanding of each.

The law
Rule 148: Drivers in England and Wales must not smoke or allow anyone to smoke when in an enclosed private vehicle should someone under 18 be on board.

Potential consequences of breaking the law
A £50 fine.

How well is the law being enforced?
Only three out of forty-two police forces in England and Wales responded to a Freedom of Information request made by the BBC. The findings included:

  • Dyfed-Powys Police revealed they had issued four verbal warnings.
  • Metropolitan Police revealed they had issued two verbal warnings.
  • Devon & Cornwall Police revealed they had issued one verbal warning.

A Freedom of Information request was released on the 29th of June and showed that out of the 42 police forces, none of them gave out fines.

 

The law
Rule 90: Any health condition likely to affect your driving must be reported to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

If you break the law
You will receive a £1,000 fine and could even face prosecution.

How well is the law being enforced?
Three out of ten motorists who are over the age of 65 have medical conditions like epilepsy and heart problems, according to research that was carried out by Direct Line Car Insurance. However, almost half have failed to update the DVLA on these conditions.

However, one in ten have failed to keep the DVLA up to date about their ‘notifiable conditions’.

 

The law
Rule 92: Those required to wear either glasses or contact lenses in order to read a vehicle number plate, in good daylight, from a distance of 20 metres (or 20.5 metres when an old style number plate is used) must wear them whenever they are driving.

Potential consequences of breaking the law
Three penalty points or disqualification may be given, as well as a £1000 fine.

How well is the law being enforced?
1,000 people that wear glasses were surveyed by One Poll. One in eight admitted that they’ve been behind the wheel without their glasses on when they’re supposed to wear them.

 

The law
Rule 95: Those in England and Wales must not drive if they:

  1. Have a breath alcohol level higher than 35 microgrammes/100 millilitres of breath, or
  2. Have a blood alcohol level of more than 80 milligrammes/100 millitres of blood.

Potential consequences of breaking the law
Penalties for drinking could result in:

  • If you are found to be in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit or unfit through drink, you may receive:
  • 3 months’ imprisonment.
  • A fine of up to £2,500.
  • A possible driving ban.
  • If you are found to be driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink, you may receive:
  • 6 months’ imprisonment.
  • An unlimited fine.
  • A driving ban of at least one year (though this will rise to three years if convicted twice in ten years).
  • If you refuse to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine to be analysed, you may receive:
  • 6 months’ imprisonment.
  • An unlimited fine.
  • A driving ban of at least one year.
  • If you cause death by careless driving and found to be under the influence of drink, you may receive:
  • 14 years’ imprisonment.
  • An unlimited fine.
  • A driving ban of at least two years.
  • The requirement to undertake an extended driving test before your driver’s licence can be returned.

How well is the law being enforced?
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents released the Road Safety Information report in July 2015. It revealed:

  • 683,651 roadside breath tests were carried out by England and Wales police forces in 2013.
  • 12 per cent of drivers or riders tested (71,675 of the 683,651) either failed or refused to take the test.

 

The law
Rule 96: It is against the law to drive while under the influence of drugs or medicine. In regards to medicine, drivers should consult with their doctor about whether they should drive when prescribed to any of the following drugs:

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

Potential consequences of breaking the law

  • A driving ban that will last for at least one year.
  • An unlimited fine.
  • Up to six months in prison.
  • A criminal record
  • A conviction for drug driving appearing on your driving licence for 11 years.

How well is the law being enforced?
More than 400 drug drivers were arrested by England and Wales police forces each month between March and May 2015 a Freedom of Information request revealed.

They also found out that:

  • The Metropolitan Police made 214 arrests in the period covering March 2nd to May 11th — the highest number of drug-driving arrests recorded in the statistics.
  • Northumbria Police made 97 arrests.
  • Police forces in Cheshire made 70 arrests.
  • Police forces in Sussex made 58 arrests.
  • Police forces in South Yorkshire made 55 arrests.

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