AA Warning as Common UK Driving Myths Debunked

UK Driving Myths

A motoring expert has warned the public they could face penalties for failing to follow laws associated with certain driving myths. For example, driving with the interior light on. Many think this is illegal and based on Google searches increasing by 222 percent, it’s time to find out if that’s the case, In YourArea reports.

The motoring expert said there is no law against driving with interior lights on, but it could distract other motorists at night or interfere with your vision. If the police decide to pull you over for bad driving and conclude that the light was probable cause, you could land yourself with a careless driving charge.

The AA said: “The AA reminds drivers that the most important thing to remember when you’re on roads in the UK is that you must obey the Highway Code.

“While driving rules are constantly updated, it is important motorists understand the current regulations in place. Not only will this reduce unexpected fines or penalties from failing to comply, but it will make UK roads a safer place.”

Below, the AA debunks some other common driving myths:

1. Is it illegal to eat and drive?
No specific law prohibiting eating while driving exists, with the AA reminding motorists that they would not be pulled over immediately – unless they stop paying attention to the road. An AA poll discovered that 1 in 10 of us eat while we drive, but if you do, you should ensure your eating habits do not distract you.

If the police believe you are not in control, they can charge you for careless driving. You get a maximum penalty of £5,000, 3 to 9 points on your licence and a discretionary driving disqualification.

2. Is it illegal to drink soft drinks and coffee while driving?

Again, no specific laws prohibit drinking (unless it distracts you). The AA said you should keep the lid on hot coffee, as any spills could lead to you losing control of the car. It could result in a careless driving fine – and a burnt lap.

3. Is it legal to smoke and drive?

If you have a passenger under 18 in your private vehicle, company vehicle or van, it is illegal to smoke. If you own a private vehicle for business, you may be allowed to smoke, but if it has been received to conduct business, you cannot smoke.

The Highway Code lists smoking as a distraction that can land you with a careless driving charge, but it is not against the law to smoke in the car in any other circumstances.

4. Is it true that I can drive 10 per cent over the speed limit without breaking the law?

Technically, you have broken the law if you drive 1mph over the limit, but you will not get a ticket because speedometers are not always accurate. The AA said it is not safe to drive with your eyes glued to the speedo, and Edmund King, the president of the AA, said it is better to keep your eyes on the road.

The National Police Chief’s Council recommends only giving a speeding ticket if you top the limit by 10 per cent plus 2, meaning driving 35mph in a 30mph zone. But this is up to individual police officers to decide, so there is no guarantee they would let you off.

The best way to ensure you do not get caught by a police officer or speed camera is to drive carefully and stick to the limit.

5. Is driving in heels, sliders, uggs or barefoot illegal?

Rule 97 of the Highway Code says drivers must wear ‘footwear and clothing which does not prevent (them) using the controls in the correct manner’. Although it’s not illegal to drive in heels or sliders, you should wear sensible shoes and change when you get to your destination.

6. Can listening to music too loud land me a fine?

Rule 148 of the Highway Code says that safe driving and riding requires concentration, so all distractions should be avoided, including loud music. It is strongly recommended that you avoid doing anything that could slow your reaction times and cause an accident.

7. Can items dangling from my rearview mirror fail my MOT?

An obstruction of more than 4cm could land you with a failed MOT, but your mechanic will likely tell you to remove the item before the MOT takes place. An AA survey revealed that five per cent of drivers had things dangling from their rearview mirrors that could create a blind spot.

The top five items spotted dangling:

>>> Air fresheners (mainly trees)
>>> Teddy bears (from small to 1 foot in length)
>>> Miniature footballs
>>> Beads and rosary beads
>>> Coats of arms (mainly football clubs)

For more information, visit the website here.

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