Accruing Penalty Points (or Endorsements) is the dread of drivers everywhere. Whilst usually accompanied by hefty fines, acquire enough and you’ll also lose your license; and all of the many benefits driving entails. But whilst most of us are familiar with the basic offences that can land us points, like speeding, there are a number of weird and unusual ways to get them on your license. Here’s an overview of some of the strangest, courtesy of Autoserve…
Sleeping in a Car Whilst Drunk: Regardless of the circumstances, police officers have the power to issue motorists a whopping ten Points and a significant fine if they find them napping in a car whilst intoxicated. The assumption is that such a person has, or will, be using the vehicle whilst under the influence.
Eating and Drinking: Whether it’s eating a make-shift breakfast whilst you race to work or knocking back a can of soft drink in the summer heat, eating or drinking behind the wheel can land you with Points; anywhere between 3 and 9, in fact. Whilst it isn’t illegal in of itself, it’s recognised as been potentially distracting. Police officers have also been known to issue fines of up to £100. The same consequences apply to applying make-up.
Failing to Remove Snow: Every winter the elements cause a number of problems for motorists. Whether it’s time lost whilst waiting for our vehicles to defrost or sliding on the roads, it’s a stressful time of year for drivers. However, should you fail to remove a build up of snow from your car’s roof you could face a fine up to £70 and three penalty points to top if off. This is because excessive snow can obscure a driver’s view or cause distractions as it falls off.
Splashing Pedestrians: It’s a cliche in TV and film, but splashing members of the public whilst driving can lead to three points on your license and a staggering fine of up to £5,000 if your case goes to court. The law sees it as both inconsiderate and unnecessary, classifying it as ‘driving without due car or consideration.’
Playing Loud Music: Listening to our favourite music is one of the joys of driving, whether it’s on the radio or through our antiquated CD collection. However, not everyone wants to hear it. Should you play ‘aggressively loud’ music you’re unlikely to receive any Points but you’ll potentially receive a formal warning; persist, and your car can be seized.
Paying for Food by Phone at Drive-Thrus: Many motorists will be aware of new legislation aimed at eliminating accidents caused by people using their phones at the wheel. As it stands, you’ll instantly receive a £200 fine and six points on your license if caught. However, what many people don’t know is the extent to which the law applies. Using a phone whilst in stationary traffic, for example, is also prohibited. With the rise of popular apps Android Auto and Apple pay, some drivers are choosing to pay for food at Drive-Thru restaurants with their phones; this is treated the same way via the new rules i.e. six points and a fine!
Swearing and Rude Gestures: Admit it, you’ve been guilty of road rage at some stage of your driving ‘career.’ Whether it’s someone speeding past you or pulling out early at a roundabout, we all have something that grinds our gears. What you may not know is that swearing and displaying rude gestures is, in legal terms, classified as ‘disorderly behaviour’ and can land you with a fine of 75% of your weekly income.
Beeping Your Horn: According to a recent police survey, only 38% of drivers know the ins and outs of correct horn use. Using a horn to notify a clueless driver of a green light or attracting the attention of friends as they walk up the high street isn’t, unfortunately, correct use. The horn should only be used whilst moving, never in stationary traffic, to alert other drivers of your presence. Incorrect usage can present you with a fine anywhere between £30 and £1,000.
As much as we may hate them, Penalty Points exist to encourage safe driving. Whether you’ve got a spotless record or you’ve fallen victim to a speed camera, keeping your vehicle well-serviced will help to keep you safe and moving. With over 16,000 approved garages, a 24/7 support service and a host of cost-saving offers, we can keep your car moving smoothly. Call one of our professional Service Advisers on 0121 521 3500 for more details.