Eight things you might not realise are illegal when driving

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A car driving through a puddle
A car driving through a puddle
31 January 2017 9:52PM

WE all know the basic laws of driving - don't speed, wear a seatbelt and don't go through a red light.

But, there are several things many drivers do which are actually illegal - although you might not know it.

Law firm Slater and Gordon have listed the minor offences drivers do without even realising.

1. Beeping your horn in anger

We're all taught that the horn should be used to warn other drivers of your presence - particularly when driving over bridges or around corners where visibility from the other direction is limited.

But if you beep in a moment of anger or frustration with another road user, you're breaking the law.

You also can’t sound your horn between 11.30pm and 7am unless in an emergency situation.

2. Splashing a pedestrian by driving through a puddle

But what you probably don't realise is it's actually against the law to splash pedestrians by driving through puddles at speed.

You can get a fixed penalty notice for doing so. In a few cases people have been handed tickets for public order offences after deliberately driving through puddles to target pedestrians.

3. Driving after taking prescription drugs

In March 2015 new road-side drug screening devices were introduced, along with new driving limits for a string of prescription drugs.

Over-the-counter drugs including codeine, for example, could see you banned from driving. While many other drugs could potentially cause problems because they induce drowsiness.

4. Getting out of your car while parked on a single yellow line

You're taught that you can't park on single yellow lines during specified times, so naturally you'd expect that the driver shouldn't really get out of the vehicle.

Single yellows are fine for dropping people off or picking people up, but the driver should not get out of the vehicle.

5. Smoking in the car

Since October 2015 it has been illegal to smoke in your car if any passenger is under the age of 18.

As the driver, you are also responsible for other passengers who choose to smoke if there is a child in the vehicle.

But where do you stand with e-cigarettes or vaping?

The law does not currently cover the devices and using them is not an offence.It is also not illegal for a 17-year-old driver to smoke while at the wheel and alone.

6. Taking your pet out of the car on the hard shoulder

Break down on a motorway and you're told you should exit the vehicle and get to a safe place .

What you're not allowed to do is take your pet out of the car - sorry, but they've got to stay put.

7. Having a dirty registration plate

Registration plates must be visible at all times when a car is on the road.

8. Eating while driving

Although eating itself is not an offence, eating a snack behind the wheel could cause you to be driving without due care and attention - and could get you into serious trouble.

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