Seven driving offences you didn't know about

Driving laws to look out for

We all know it’s illegal to break the speed limit, use a handheld mobile phone at the wheel and drive drunk. But you can break the law in your van in some rather more unusual ways, too. Here, we outline the more obscure laws to look out for.

Overtaking at a pedestrian crossing

It is illegal to overtake a car which is waiting immediately by a pedestrian crossing (so not cars further back in the queue), as it may be concealing a pedestrian already on the crossing.

Parking on the wrong side of the road at night

Unless it’s in a designated bay, parking on the wrong side of the road overnight is against the law. This is because you can dazzle other drivers with your headlights as you park, and because your rear light reflectors will also not be visible while the van is stationary.

Using your phone as a sat nav if it’s not fixed

When being used for directions, your phone must be fixed to your windscreen or dashboard (preferably the latter, so it doesn't impede your view of the road), so you can see it easily without having to hold it.

Using a handheld phone while driving is now among the more serious driving offences and penalties – you can get six points on your licence, as well as a £200 fine. Plus if you've had your licence for less than two years, you get less leeway with motoring offences and penalties, and six points is a ban.

Parking within ten metres of a junction

According to the highway Code, vehicles shouldn’t be parked within ten metres of a junction, as it obstructs the view for other drivers or pedestrians. Although the Highway Code isn’t the law, you could be landed with a parking ticket if a police officer deems you to be causing an obstruction.

Driving or parking on the pavement

The Highway Code states you must not park even partly on the pavement unless there are signs allowing it. In London it’s not permitted anywhere. Cars and vans should only access the pavement while turning into or out of a driveway.

Sounding your horn between 11.30pm and 7am in a built-up area

This is considered to be unreasonable noise, so you can be fined as much as £1,000 for sounding your horn during these hours.

Doing more than 50mph in a van on a single-carriageway road

Unless it’s a car-derived van, with a maximum laden weight of up to 2,000kg, you mustn't go faster than 50mph on single carriageways, 60mph on dual carriageways and 70mph on motorways.

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