Road Traffic Law

Road TrafficAlso known as motoring or driving law, road traffic law governs and regulates our driving practice. Because of the huge number of people on the roads every day, road traffic law is something that is worth being clued up on. One main purpose of this area’s legislation is to instil a sense of responsibility among drivers, by raising awareness of the potential dangers associated with motor vehicle travel.

Road Traffic Offences

There is a huge variety of road traffic offences defined by UK legislation, ranging from drink driving to not wearing a seatbelt. These offences are punishable with varying degrees of severity – depending on the circumstances surrounding each instance.

The punishments for road traffic offences are generally serious, reflecting the nature of the transgression. The basic message is: take care when driving, safety first!

Careless, Dangerous and Drink Driving

As you would expect, a significant portion of road traffic legislation covers careless or generally reckless driving.

  • Careless Driving covers driving without due care and attention; this includes for example adjusting the radio while driving. Because of the fairly broad definition of careless driving, any accidents caused are punishable with anything from a fine to up to nine points on your licence.
  • Dangerous Driving is defined equally broadly, and describes incompetency as well as driving with a dangerous defect to your car. Causing serious injury by driving dangerously is judged similarly to cases of Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH). This could result in a fine, a driving ban and even a six month prison sentence.
  • Drink/Drug Driving including driving carelessly or dangerously while under the influence of drink/drugs. This offence is taken very seriously and the punishments (particularly for causing injuries or fatalities) reflect this. As well as bans, fines and potential prison sentences, those guilty of driving under the influence are also often referred to rehabilitation courses designed to educate rather than punish.

Non-Dangerous Offences

There is also legislation governing parking tickets, road tax and MOTs.

  • Parking Tickets will be issued to anyone parking where they should not, including on a double yellow line or in front of a loading bay. Not paying parking tickets will be punishable by means of a fine, the size of which will depend on the location and the council.
  • Road Tax is a legal requirement for having your car on the road, as is having an up to date MOT, and the punishment for not having either will generally be a fine.

Car Insurance

It is also considered an offence to drive a car on the road that is not insured. As necessary as it is, car insurance can also be quite expensive. Your premium will also be affected by any points or endorsements, as well as any driving bans you have had in the past.

The more careful a driver you are and the longer you go without any accidents or claims, the cheaper your insurance will be. An example of the benefits of this being the ‘no claims bonus’ your insurance company may offer should you to fail to claim under your policy.

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