Welcome to Total Drive Industry Round-Up, the place for any need-to-know industry news. Our updates are aimed directly at you, the driving instructors of Britain, and are full of all the things you should know. Here’s what has been going on recently:
Why driving with your dog in the car could land you with a hefty fine
Drivers in the UK who travel with their pets could be breaking the law and they could end up with a big fine. This is because animals need to wear a seatbelt when they’re in the car and not making your pet wear one is a breach of the Highway Code.
he Code points out that if an animal moves about during a journey it could trigger an accident and also warns drivers not to put their pets in the front seat for the same reason, reports the Mirror.
Car expert Mark Tongue at Select Car Leasing, explains: “Most dog owners will know they need to keep their pet suitably restrained when they’re in a car, as stipulated by the Highway Code.
“But many owners are left confused as to whether dogs are allowed in the front seat or not. It’s something of a grey area.
Recent research by the Dogs Trust found 76% of dogs have no formal training on how to behave in the car, while only 60% of people believe that having a dog unrestrained in the car is dangerous.
Update to Standard Operating Procedures for both car and motorcycle
DVSA have published updated Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for both car and motorcycle. These have now been reviewed and refreshed to take account of recent national updates.
Most common driving laws broken in hot weather
The change in seasons means a number of drivers could be breaking a number of driving laws.
Young driver insurers, Marmalade has looked into the most common driving laws that could have been broken whilst driving on the roads this summer, which could be leaving people with a nasty fine or points on their licence.
Delayering at the wheel when it gets too warm – Potential fine: £5,000 + penalty points
Removing items of clothing whilst behind the wheel can seriously impact your driving. Being inappropriately dressed could cause an array of issues and could lead drivers to take their hands off the wheel and momentarily lose sight of the road if removing a jumper or top. If pulled over for delayering, traffic cops could slap you with a £100 on-the-spot fine and three penalty points for careless driving.
Hay fever medication causing drowsiness – Potential Fine: Unlimited fine + one-year driving ban
One in four people in the UK has hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis) and with regular “pollen bombs” occurring throughout the summer months sufferers will feel the effects. But how many people check the side effects of what they are taking to ease symptoms – and whether they’re OK to drive? Certain antihistamines can cause drowsiness, blurred vision, dizziness and confusion, thus severely affecting a driver’s abilities and could result in some trouble with the law.
Wearing inappropriate footwear – Potential Fine: £5,000 + penalty points
With the increasing temperatures it’s likely that you’ll want your fashion choices to reflect the warmer weather. A fashion staple of summer, flip flops are ideal for the beach but less so for the car. That means if you’re in an accident and the police see that you have flip flops on, you’re liable for a “driving without due care and attention” charge – which carries a £100 on-the-spot fine and three penalty points on your license. If it goes to court that rises to a maximum penalty of a £5,000 fine, nine penalty points and potentially a driving ban.
Against the paw – Potential Fine: £5,000
We often see pooches riding shotgun over the summer months, with their tails wagging and joyful expressions, however unrestrained pets could cause accidents, near misses or emergency stops.In fact, driving with an unrestrained pet could cost you up to £5,000 in fines.
The Wrong Sunglasses – Potential fine: £5,000 + penalty points
It isn’t a legal requirement to wear sunglasses whilst driving, however not putting them on could see you hit with a careless driving charge. If you’re driving in bright conditions, or the sun shines in your eyes and you’re not wearing tinted lenses, it could cause you to momentarily take your eyes off the road, resulting in a ‘driving without due care and attention’ claim.