Quickly putting your beam on to thank a fellow driver, parking on the curb to leave more space for other drivers and giving other road users the heads up regarding upcoming speed traps are common courtesy that many drivers implement.
However, a study conducted by the car insurance team at Comparethemarket has found that common practices that many people do to aid other drivers and show basic road manners could actually leave you with a hefty fine and points on your licence.
Many drivers may even be unaware of the potential fines you could face. Julie Daniels, motoring expert from Comparethemarket, shares some tips and warnings on these ‘unofficial rules’ of the road, to ensure you’re staying safe and avoiding fines.
Flashing your headlights
“It may feel like nothing more than decent etiquette, but alerting other drivers of upcoming speed traps, such as mobile speed camera vans, puts drivers at risk of a fine of up to £1,000. The Highway Code clearly states drivers should only flash their headlights to let other road users know that you’re there.
“Alerting other drivers of mobile speed camera vans is interfering with police duties, which is an offence under section 89 of the Police Act - so you not only risk a fine, but also the safety of other road users.”
Waving to say thank you
“Our research shows waving to say thank you is the most common driving courtesy, as over 60 percent of drivers admit to doing so. However, they may not realise that they are risking a £1,000 fine and three penalty points by doing so.
“The Highway Code states you should drive with both hands on the wheel wherever possible, to ensure drivers are always in full control of the vehicle.If you are looking to thank other drivers for any reason, do so in a safe - and legal - manner, such as getting your passenger to wave on your behalf.”