Motorists are being urged to be aware of five ways their passengers (and pets) could land them with up to £6,250 in fines.
As if owning and running a car isn’t expensive enough, and with the cost of living crisis, prices rising and inflation, ensuring your vehicle-related costs are down is a must.
When operating a vehicle, we’ve become accustomed to the laws and regulations to be a safe driver, following the Highway Codes.
However, many Brits may be unaware of ways that your passenger can actually land you with a hefty fine.
To warn Brits of unexpected fines, Charlotte Rennox, medical negligence expert at Fletchers Group, has released five ways in which a passenger and pets can land a driver with a fine – totaling a whopping £6,250.
So here’s what Ms Rennox advised you need to pay attention to, in order to avoid being slapped with these costs…
Charlotte Rennox, medical negligence expert at Fletchers Group, has released five ways in which a passenger and pets can land a driver with a fine
Many Brits may be unaware of ways that your passenger can actually land YOU with a hefty fine (File image)
Estimated fine: £100
While this may be a given for regular drivers, the medical negligence expert says that that you need to inform your passengers that wearing a seatbelt is the law.
Ms Rennox says: ‘It has been ingrained into drivers to always wear a seatbelt, to the point where it has rightfully become second nature, however, your passengers may not be the same.’
‘Seatbelt wearing became compulsory for all rear-seat occupants in 1991 and so if your passengers are found caught without a seatbelt, you could face three points on your license and a possible driving ban, even if you are wearing one.’
She added: ‘The main benefits of wearing a seatbelt are obvious to the fact that they can literally save your life, but ensuring that everyone in the car is wearing them before setting off could help you avoid a £100 fine.
‘Protecting children whilst driving is crucial, so it is your responsibility to ensure each passenger under the age of 14 wears a seatbelt. If you are caught you could be fined for each child not wearing a seatbelt whilst driving; that can be up to £500.’
Estimated fine: £50
The expert advised: ‘As of October 2015, smoking cigarettes in the car with someone under the age of 18 is illegal. Both the driver and the smoker could be fined £50 as a result. The financial implications of this are significant, but more importantly, smoking in a car can cause children to inhale the toxins and chemicals from the cigarette, potentially creating major respiratory problems in the future.
‘The law does not apply to smoking e-cigarettes, to a 17-year-old driver in their own car, or driving a convertible with the roof completely down, but it is still never worth the risk.’
3. Using a phone
Using a phone while driving is illegal and extremely dangerous. And if a passenger uses their phone when supervising a learner driver, you could be hit with a fine up to £1,000 along with six points on your license (File image)
Estimated fine: up to £1,000
Brit drivers have also been urged to know that using their phone while driving – even if they are supervising learner drivers – may see them slapped with a huge fine.
The expert said: ‘We know that driving whilst using a phone is illegal and extremely dangerous but did you know that a passenger using their phone could get you fined?
‘If a passenger uses their phone when supervising a learner driver, you could be hit with a fine up to £1,000 along with six points on your license.
‘As the person aiding the learner driver, you are expected to also have full visibility and attention on the road, as if you were the actual driver.’
4. An excess of passengers
Estimated fine: £100
Ms Rennox added that an excess of passengers can see motorists slapped with fines of around £50,
She said: ‘Ultimately, cars shouldn’t be carrying for more people than they are designed for. Despite there being no strict laws on your car being filled to the brim with passengers, doing so can seriously invalidate your insurance if caught.
‘However, having too many passengers can cause a multitude of distractions for the driver like not being able to see your wing mirrors and creating blind spots, increasing the risks of collisions. If stopped for careless driving, you could potentially be fined £100 on the spot .’
The Highway Code states animals should be restrained in the vehicle as they may cause distractions for the driver (File image)
Estimated fine: £5,000
Another area that many motorist may not be aware can see them slapped with a fine is pets in the car.
Ms Rennox says that the Highway Code states animals should be restrained in the car to avoid distractions.
She said: ‘Watch out for your furry friends! They may seem like the ideal traveling companion, but they can cause many distractions for the driver. The Highway Code states that animals should be suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you or themselves if you stop quickly.
‘Your pets won’t want to cause you any inconvenience, but if they are not restrained with a seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard, you could receive an almighty £5,000 fine ‘
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk