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Drive-thru mobile payments and eating at the wheel: 10 driving laws you may be unknowingly breaking

Have you ever eaten an apple whilst driving, paid for a drive-through meal using your phone or flashed your headlights at traffic approaching a hidden speed trap? If so, you may have broken some UK driving laws without even realising it.

According to a list compiled by Swinton Car Insurance here’s a list of ten common misdemeanours some motorists do without even realising it.

Eating at the wheel - Although eating whilst driving isn’t illegal in itself, it can be classed as careless driving and cost you three penalty points on your licence as well as a £100 fine.

Flashing your headlights - You may think that warning other drivers of an oncoming speed trap is just being considerate, yet the law says otherwise. It’s considered a dangerous practice, and you could face a fine of up to £1,000 if caught obstructing an officer in the course of their duties.

Forgetting to put headlights on when it’s dark - Driving without headlights at night or when your visibility is seriously reduced can result in a non-endorsable ticket, which typically carries a £50 fine.

Splashing pedestrians - Sometimes, it’s hard to avoid puddles in the road... especially in the wet British weather. Yet if you are caught splashing a pedestrian with a puddle, it could result in a £100 fine and 3 points on your licence if caught by police.

Using your mobile phone as a sat nav - Penalties for using your phone while driving has been extended to the use of mobiles as sat navs. Although it’s not illegal to use navigation apps, you could face a £200 fine and up to 6 penalty points if you touch the handset while driving.

Using your phone to pay at a drive-through - Many fast food 'drive-thrus' offer contactless payment but paying for your food with your mobile phone, with apps such as Google or Apple, is against the law and could result in a £200 fine and up to 6 penalty points.

Beeping the car horn - If you’re tempted to beep your horn in a traffic jam or use it to get a pedestrian’s attention when stationary, you might need to have a rethink. Beeping your car horn for any other reason than alerting traffic of your presence on the road could lead to a £30 fine.

Making a profit from giving someone a lift - There is nothing wrong with helping out a friend if they’re stranded or need a lift - they can even chip in for petrol. However, if you make a profit from this unofficial taxi service without the right documents to hand, you could face a hefty penalty: up to £2,500 fine and up to 6 points on your licence.

Road Rage - It’s easy to lose your cool when frustrated or annoyed behind the wheel. But taking your frustration out on other drivers is classed as disorderly behaviour and can lead to a £1000 fine if caught by police.

Driving too slow - Despite there being no minimum speed limit on the majority of UK roads, you can still be fined for driving too slow, as it can be a hazard to other road users. If pulled over by the police, a simple verbal warning could be given, or you could face a fine of £5,000 and 9 penalty points on your licence, depending on the severity of the offence.


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