Not wearing sunglasses while driving could see you hit with a glaring £5,000 fine

Choosing not to wear sunglasses to protect against the effects of the sun's rays towards your vision could see you hit with a whopping £5,000 fine.

As highlighted by the RAC, Department for Transport (DfT) data showing contributory factors in reported road accidents revealed that dazzling sunlight was a contributing factor in 2,324 accidents in 2017.

The data also showed that vision impairing sun rays played a part in 25 fatal collisions in the same year. All drivers must ensure that they are able to drive with due care and attention, therefore should wear appropriate eyewear to protect themselves against glare and keep themselves and other road users safe. If a police officer deems you to be driving without due care and attention, you would be faced with an on-the-spot fine of £100 and three penalty points on your licence.

But in the event of a serious incident, police have the power to take the offender to court, where they could face a fine of anywhere up to £5,000. Rule 237 of the Highway Code, is for drivers to slow down or pull over if they become “dazzled by bright sunlight”. This means that, although it’s not a legal requirement to drive wearing sunglasses in bright conditions, you could be breaking the law if you don’t slow down or stop if you become temporarily blinded by the sun.

But don't think that you can go out and purchase just any pair of sunglasses to use whilst driving, because some are in fact illegal.

Category four sunglasses, which let through less than 8% of light, are illegal to wear when driving. Variable tint lenses are another type that should also be avoided. UK sunglasses should be labelled with a category, so please check before purchasing, as those not suitable to wear while driving should be marked.

A charge of driving without due care and attention could see you receive up to 9 penalty points and will stay on your licence for four years.

Image: Source; Flickr

Image: Author; Jonathan Dunbar

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