5 Driving Myths Debunked
Local garages like Country Vehicles in Shefford aren’t just about getting your car serviced, or sorting your MOT. We’re part of the local community, so we take time to get to know our customers, as well as their cars. We also see ourselves as a source of useful information, whether it’s about repairs, buying second-hand, or answering questions like “Is it illegal to drive with headphones?”
In this blog we’ve gathered the 5 driving myths we hear most often. In some cases we’re debunking outrageous claims, in others we find that the oddest things turn out to be true.
1. You Can Drive 10% Over the Speed Limit
This is a very common myth and unfortunately loads of people get caught out by it. The letter of the law states that if you go even 1 mile over the speed limit you have committed an offence. There has been some confusion caused by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) who urged police officers to use their discretion when dealing minor infractions. That doesn’t mean you won’t be fined, it just means you might get lucky.
This Police Chief’s Blog offers useful context for the police position on issuing speeding fines.
2. You Can Be Fined for Splashing a Pedestrian
Yes, this one is bang on the money. The Road Traffic Act 1988 makes reference to careless and inconsiderate driving. It states:
“If a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, he is guilty of an offence.”
This makes it illegal to drive through a puddle and splash pedestrians. Documented cases have drivers receiving a Fixed Penalty Notice for this offence. There is also precedence for drivers being fined £5,000.
3. Is it Illegal to Drive With Headphones?
We get asked this one a lot. It is not illegal in the UK to drive whilst wearing headphones. However, if the police believe that they are causing a distraction, or that you are not in full control of your vehicle, you can be stopped and fined. If you are found to be driving carelessly, the fine is £100 and 3 penalty points. If the case goes to court, the fine could be £5,000 and you could even be banned from driving.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy and Research makes some interesting points about this issue in an AutoTrader article on the subject of driving and distraction.
4. You Can Use Your Phone if Stuck in Traffic
The law offers real clarity on this one. You can only use a hand-held phone if you are parked with the handbrake on and engine off. Sitting in a traffic jam doesn’t count as you are waiting, rather than parked. There is only one situation in which you can use a held-held mobile when driving. That’s if you need to make a 999 or 112 call and it isn’t safe for you to stop.
5. You Can Jump a Red Light to Make Way for an Emergency Vehicle
Nope! This sounds completely plausible as drivers will always look for ways to let emergency vehicles through. The Highway Code is clear though, drivers are required to take appropriate action but they must do so whilst “complying with all traffic signs”. So even if you’re acting with the best intentions, you could still find yourself facing a spot fine and 3 penalty points.
About Country Vehicles in Shefford
As well as knowing all this stuff, we also offer a full range of automotive services to our local Bedfordshire customers, including: MOT, vehicle servicing, diagnostics, repairs and air conditioning servicing. Our technicians and mechanics work with all makes of car and light commercial in the private, company and fleet sector. Additionally, we are motor home and independent Jaguar specialists.
If you would like to talk to a CVS technician about your car, or book it in for repairs, servicing or MOT, call us today on 01234 381555