AS winter passes by the drivers are being reminded of the laws around driving and safety over Christmas.

Driving with snow on your car

There are no laws specifically prohibiting this, but rule 229 of the Highway Code states that you must be able to see clearly, so you should make sure that there is no snow on your windscreen.

Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act, 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 means that if any snow should fall from your roof onto the windscreen and block your view, or perhaps fall off and endanger other drivers or pedestrians, then you could face three points on your license and a £60 fine.

Driving with a frozen or misty windscreen

The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulation 30 states that: “All glass or other transparent material fitted to a motor vehicle shall be maintained in such condition that it does not obscure the vision of the driver while the vehicle is being driven on a road.”

This means that it’s up to the driver to make sure their windows are free of ice and fog so that they can clearly see the road, with the punishment being the same as for the previous offence, three points and a £60 fine.

Leaving the engine running to deice windows

But aside from wasting fuel, you could also be in breach of the law and face a £20 fixed-penalty fine (rising to £40 if not paid on time and even up to £80 in certain areas of London where there are extra measures to cut emissions).

This is because the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulation 107 states: “No person shall leave, or cause or permit to be left, on a road a motor vehicle which is not attended by a person licensed to drive it unless the engine is stopped and any parking brake with which the vehicle is required to be equipped is effectively set.”


While this doesn’t specifically cover leaving the car running on a private driveway, the damage to the environment and the risk of an opportunistic thief taking advantage should be enough to advice caution.

Driving in wellies

This is not strictly illegal, but it is something to take note of. Rule 97 of the Highway Code says that you must make sure that your “clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner”.

Winter emergency kits

Another “law” that many people don’t realise isn’t actually a legal requirement is keeping a winter emergency kit in the car during the colder months.

You never expect to break down, so having things such as deicer, jump leads and reflective warning signs can come in very handy if you ever do need them.

Keeping lights and number plates clean

Over the course of winter, cars can easily build up a layer of muck and while, but it’s not an offence to have a dirty car, there are two parts of the vehicle that you must keep clean.

Both your lights and number plate need to be unobscured and readable

The penalty for falling foul of it is a significant one, plus a fine of up to £1,000.

Using fog lights

Fog lights can be a lifesaver in the right scenarios, but if you’ve ever had an oncoming driver coming towards you with them on, you’ll know how dazzling, and potentially dangerous, it can be.