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London taxi driver shares frustration over £50 fine for using hazard lights to pick up passengers

A frustrated taxi driver recounted his recent encounter with a law enforcement officer regarding the use of hazard lights. The incident took place outside the prestigious department store, Harvey Nichols, resulting in a fixed penalty of £50 for the driver.

The cabbie claimed that he had stopped outside the store to pick up a passenger, while ensuring his hazard lights were activated as a safety precaution. However, to his surprise, a young police officer approached and questioned the necessity of the hazard lights, perplexing the driver.

The taxi driver said on social media: “I had a fixed penalty of £50 for stopping outside Harvey Nichols to pick up a passenger. Whilst having my hazard lights on a young police officer asked me ‘where the hazard was?’"

To clarify the rules surrounding the use of hazard lights, it is important to understand their primary purpose. Hazard lights, also known as emergency flashers or warning lights, are intended for use in situations where a vehicle is stationary and causing an obstruction or potential hazard to other road users.

According to the Highway Code in the United Kingdom, hazard lights should be used only when a vehicle is stationary and for a legitimate reason. This may include instances such as breakdowns, accidents, or when vehicles are temporarily obstructing traffic due to specific circumstances.

However, it is essential to note that misuse of hazard lights can lead to confusion and may be considered an offense. In situations where a vehicle is being parked or waiting while causing no obstruction or hazard, hazard lights should not be used.

What does the Highway Code say?

‘Hazard warning lights. These may be used when your vehicle is stationary, to warn that it is temporarily obstructing traffic. Never use them as an excuse for dangerous or illegal parking. 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. Only use them for long enough to ensure that your warning has been observed.’

Law RVLR reg 27


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