DRIVES could face fines of up to £19,500 if they hit the road this winter.
The frosty season could cost Brits a lot of money if they don’t adapt in the colder months.
People who do not prepare their vehicle before driving in ice, snow, fog and heavy rain may be subject to a penalty.
Auto finance provider go car loan have uncovered the most common – and costly – mistakes drivers make.
Marketing Manager Hayley O’Connor explained: “Winter weather brings a whole new set of challenges so it’s important that drivers know the laws to avoid hefty fines.
“At this time of year and in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, keeping your money was more important than ever.
“We’ve put together top winter driving tips to help motorists cruise the roads without fines this winter.”
So what exactly can get you in trouble with the law all winter behind the wheel?
Even if you’re in a hurry to set off, it’s important to wait until your windshield is clear before setting off.
Driving in condensation, ice or snow can result in motorists being fined a hefty £5,000.
The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, Regulation 30 states: “All glass or other transparent materials fitted to a motor vehicle shall be maintained in such a condition that they do not obstruct the driver’s view ‘while the vehicle is being driven on a road’.
Even if it costs you an extra five minutes, turn on your fans, scrape the ice, and clear the snow to avoid the penalty.
But while you’re sweeping away the white stuff, remember to clean your license plate, too.
If the elements or dirt from the road obscure your license plate, you could get into hot water.
You might get lucky with a £100 fine on the spot – but drivers may have to come up with a whopping £1,000.
When clearing your car, take a closer look and see if you can read your license plate clearly.
Which brings us to that pesky snow that won’t budge after you’ve covered your vehicle.
Although there is no specific law prohibiting driving with the uninvited guest, you can be fined if it sticks to your windshield or roof.
Motorists can be fined £5,000 if it obstructs their vision and face even more trouble if it slips and endangers people.
If the snow falls on the road or pavement and endangers pedestrians or road users, you could be held liable under the Road Traffic Act 1988 Section 3 – Negligent and Reckless Driving.
As you get ready to drive, you may be tempted to leave your engine running while your engine is defrosting.
But you could be breaking several laws by doing so as you are in breach of Regulations 98 and 107 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986.
It essentially reinforces rule 123 of the Highway Code, which states: “You must not leave a vehicle’s engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road”.
However, this only applies to public roads and not to private driveways.
Since it also unnecessarily pumps exhaust fumes into the environment, motorists are violating the Road Traffic Act 2002.
If you leave your car idling you can be fined up to £20 or £80 in areas of London and also void your insurance.
With the cold weather comes darker days – so make sure your lights are on and you’re not driving in the dark.
If you are caught without your headlights on, you could be charged with driving without due care and attention and “allowing your driving standard to fall below that of a prudent motorist”.
The fixed rate penalties are a fine of £100 and three points on your driving licence.
However, the maximum penalty could mean a court visit, a hefty £5,000 fine and 9 points on your driving licence.
Another aspect of the colder months is the ever-changing conditions on the roads.
Freezing temperatures, icy roads and rolling over gravel quickly wear out your tires.
This means your wheels may not have the grip they need when driving – which can lead to aquaplaning or falls.
Drivers can be fined up to £2,500 for careless and vigilant driving when their tires are deemed unsuitable.
They can also be beaten with three penalty points for each tire that doesn’t meet road standards.
Check your tires regularly to see how they’re doing in the frost.
Rulebreakers who fail to follow these winter rules would face a total bill of £19,500 – and potentially further legal consequences.
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/10116692/drivers-could-rack-up-fines-of-19500-this-winter/ How motorists could face fines of up to £19,500 on the road this winter – and how to avoid them