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The Independent

Drivers face £1,000 nice for driving in dangerous climate

As winter attracts in and the hours of daylight develop shorter, drivers are being warned to heed guidelines on driving in poor circumstances which might carry a nice of as much as £1,000.

For greater than a decade, new vehicles have been legally required to be fitted with daytime operating lights (DRLs), which change on robotically when the car begins.

Nonetheless, these usually are not vivid sufficient to light up the highway, and are sometimes solely fitted on the entrance of the automobile – which means they’re no assist for drivers recognizing automobiles forward of them in poor circumstances.

Because of this, Rule 226 of the Highway Code states that motorists “should use headlights when visibility is critically lowered, usually if you can not see for greater than 100 metres”.

Failure to take action in dangerous climate and outwith the hours of daylight can carry a nice of £1,000 and will even lead to a 12-month ban in extreme circumstances, based on the director of Patterson Legislation, the UK’s largest authorized agency specialising in highway site visitors offences.

“The requirement in legislation is for each car to have working headlamps, rear lamps, registration plates lamps and aspect marker lamps,” Dominic Smith instructed Somerset Live. “All such lamps have to be unobscured and lit through the midnights and through critically lowered visibility.

“Midnights are outlined as between sundown and dawn. ‘Significantly lowered visibility’ shouldn’t be outlined, however could be a query of reality. Examples might embody fog, snow, heavy rain or spray circumstances and badly overcast climate, simply to call a number of.

“Failure to have working lamps or failure to light up lamps throughout such circumstances could be an offence which might carry a nice of as much as £1000. This would come with instances the place entrance lamps are illuminated however the rear ones usually are not.

“If no lamps are exhibiting and the circumstances are severe sufficient {that a} police officer might deem that the driving force is inflicting severe hazard to different highway customers, this will even fall below the offence of harmful driving, which carries a minimal 12-month disqualification.”

Graham Conway, of Choose Automobile Leasing, additionally warned that driving with out headlights and taillights illuminated throughout dangerous climate could possibly be “extraordinarily harmful”.

“DRLs have been serving to to enhance highway security for greater than a decade now,” Mr Conway instructed the information website. “However I’d urge motorists to grasp exactly how they work and what job they’re speculated to do.

“We’ve heard numerous reviews of individuals failing to light up their headlights and taillights whereas driving in poor visibility in current weeks, and there’s a worry motorists would possibly mistakenly imagine that their DRLs are adequate in these kinds of circumstances. They’re not.

“We had a rash of reviews throughout final week’s rain storms, with drivers taking to spray-engulfed motorways with simply their DRLs lit – which is clearly extremely harmful. And it could clearly be extraordinarily silly to depend on DRLs when the solar goes down, too.

“An important factor to recollect is that many DRL methods don’t robotically gentle the hind lights. If you wish to be seen by the vehicles who’re following you, you should definitely click on your headlights on.”

Based on the Freeway Code, motorists may also use entrance or rear fog lights throughout dangerous climate, however “should change them off when visibility improves”.

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