top of page

Hazard lights warning: Saying thank you to other drivers can result in £1,000 fine

Drivers are being told to think twice about thanking other motorists with their hazard lights or they could face a hefty £1,000 fine.


Motoring experts from Lease Van have explained when drivers should and shouldn’t use hazard lights to ensure they avoid penalties, prevent accidents and comply with the Highway Code.

Using hazards incorrectly could see motorists charged with driving without due care and attention, which could result in a £1,000 fine and three penalty points.


It’s safe and even advised to use hazard lights when approaching danger or to alert other road users of a breakdown but it can be dangerous to use them for tedious reasons which can confuse other drivers.


Tim Alcock, from Lease Van, said: “It’s common practise to say thank you to other drivers by flashing your lights but it’s in fact a serious breach of the Highway Code.


“While it’s a nice gesture to say thank you, using hazard lights excessively may lead to confusion among other drivers who believe there is a danger up ahead causing them to slam on their brake pedal.


“The Highway Code clearly states you must not use hazard warning lights while driving or being towed unless you are on a motorway or unrestricted dual carriageway and you need to warn drivers behind you of a hazard or obstruction ahead.


“It also says to only use them for as long as necessary - while the warning has been observed.


“We’ve put together some simple do’s and don’ts when it comes to using hazard lights on the roads so drivers won’t face penalty points or hefty fines and to help protect other road users from accidents caused by misuse of them.”

Here are the Do’s and Don’ts of Hazard lights:


Do: Alert about danger


Under the Highway Code, drivers are permitted to use hazard lights to convey danger, when stopped, to indicate to other road users that the driver’s vehicle is obstructing traffic.  It’s also stated to only use them for the specific amount of time that the warning has been observed.


Do: Alert about a breakdown


It’s important for drivers to always turn on their hazards to alert other motorists that they’re broken down, even if the car is on the hard shoulder or lay-by. It’s again stated in the code to only use them for as long as it takes to make sure your warning has been seen.


Do: Heavy motorway queue


If a driver is on the motorway and a queue suddenly emerges, they’re permitted to briefly turn on their hazards to alert other motorists so they can use their brakes in time.




Don’t: Say thank you


Many road users use hazard lights to say thank you by flashing their hazards, but this can result in a hefty fine by using them inappropriately. A simple hand up will suffice.


Don’t: Use when turning


Motorists are urged not to use their hazard lights when driving slowly and looking for a turning. If a driver turns a corner and suddenly turns their hazards on as another vehicle is closely following, it can cause them to slam on their brake pedal and may lead to harmful consequences.


Don’t: When parking


The Highway Code warns against using hazards to let people know you’re parking, even if you want to claim a specific space in the car park.


Subscribe to our newsletter. Receive all the latest news

Thanks for subscribing!

thumbnail_phonto (1).jpg
bottom of page