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Drivers are being warned that they could be slapped with a £5,000 fine for wearing certain types of clothes this autumn. Rule 97 of the Highway Code states drivers should ensure their clothing does not prevent them from using the controls in the correct manner. This also applies to the driver’s choice of footwear.
Drivers face on-the-spot fines of £100 as well as three penalty points for wearing clothing that could restrict proper driving. These fines can be upgraded to £5,000 in addition to nine penalty points.
If taken to court, motorists could face a driving ban. For example, maxi dresses could get caught underneath car pedals, which could lead to dangerous driving.
Baggy jeans could also lead to drivers being in hot water. The extra material of the trousers may become trapped underneath the pedal, similar to the maxi dress.
Alistair Grier, Director of CarMoney, warned drivers that clothing could also affect the price of their car insurance. Mr Grier said insurance could “increase dramatically” if drivers are involved in an accident and any “inappropriate” clothing forced them to drive carelessly.
Drivers should also avoid wearing flip-flops, high heels and slippers when at the wheel. These could all cause difficulty for the driver when using the pedals.
To be on the safe side, drivers are advised to wear trainers or other suitable shoes for comfort and to avoid any mishaps. Shoes with a sole that’s less than 10mm thick are considered “unsafe” to drive in.
Drivers should, therefore, wear the most practical shoes when driving, while keeping a more comfortable pair in the car to change into later. Sunglasses also aren’t just a fashion statement, as they are very important for protecting the driver’s eyes while driving.
Experts at the AA advise road users to choose sunglasses extremely carefully, as some can be too dark for driving. This requires the vision to remain clear and ensure that the motorist has sufficient light to see the road ahead properly.
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People are recommended to have an eye test every two years to check if they need prescription glasses. Driving without glasses when required is illegal and can invalidate their car insurance, as well as lead up to a £1,000 fine.
Ahead of autumn, motorists have also been advised to keep their cars in good condition. Simple things such as cleaning the windshield can prevent the glaring sunlight from blinding the driver and causing dangerous situations on the road.
There are a number of other reasons motorists could be at risk of receiving a fine over the autumn and the winter months.
Decorating the car
Dorry Potter, expert at National Scrap Car, said: “Whilst we all want to embrace the festive period decorating our homes, cars should be avoided as this could lead to fines and invalidate your insurance. Affecting your view out of your windscreen can lead to three points and up to £1,000 in fines. Therefore, you should leave the tinsel, baubles and ribbon at home.
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“In addition to blocking your windscreen, according to the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, coloured lights that are not native to your vehicle should not be used and doing so can get you in trouble.”
“Therefore adding fairy lights or other light up decorations can be very dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.”
Fogged up windows
Everyone knows the stress of having to defog windows in order to set off on a journey, with some taking the risk of heading off before the windscreen has cleared.
Ms Potter said: “This ‘fog’ on the windows can dramatically decrease visibility for the driver which makes driving before it is cleared extremely dangerous.
“Not only this, but it is also illegal. The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 regulations 23 and 27 and the Highway Code state that ‘windscreens and windows must be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision’, this means the same applies for frost too!”
“If a driver fails to clear windows properly before setting off, it can lead to a fixed penalty fine of up to £2,500, three penalty points and in some cases it can even result in disqualification if the offence is committed within three years of a previous conviction for the same offence.”
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