As we approach the Easter bank holiday, you may be planning a road trip or a staycation to make the most of the extra days off work.
However, car leasing comparison site Moneyshake warns of five laws you may be breaking this bank holiday, which could land you with a fine, points on your licence or even a ban.
Dogs In the Car
If you’re travelling with your dog in the car this bank holiday, they need to be properly restrained. That means they shouldn’t be able to hang their heads out of windows or be able to roam freely around the car.
Rule 57 of the Highway Code states that pets should be “suitably restrained” when travelling in the car so they can’t distract the driver and avoid hurting themselves or the driver if forced to stop quickly. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to £5,000.
Eben Lovatt, CEO of the car lease comparison site Moneyshake said,, “to stay safe while driving, ensure your dog is appropriately restrained with a seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard. The safest option is to have your dog belted into the back seat, as the passenger seat airbags could also cause harm in the event of an accident.”
Overloading the Car
Packing your car for a trip away can often be a tight squeeze to make everything fit but be careful not to overload your car. Rule 98 of the Highway Code states you should not overload your vehicle with a weight that’s greater than the manufacturer’s recommendation.
If you are caught driving an overloaded car, you can face a fine of up to £300 and have three penalty points issued to your driving licence.
Eben shared, “make sure you read up in your vehicle’s handbook before setting off as each car has a maximum loading weight, including passengers and luggage. If this weight limit is ignored, it can pose a danger to your vehicle, placing additional strain on the tyres and making steering and braking more difficult.”
Hay Fever Medication
It is illegal to get behind the wheel whilst under the influence, but many people may not consider that hay fever medication could also put them at risk, as it can result in sleepiness and blurred vision, which would make them unfit to drive.
Eben explains, “Rule 96 of the Highway Code states that you must not drive under the influence of drugs or medicine. If caught it can lead to a charge of drug driving, which comes with a minimum one-year driving ban, 3-11 points and an unlimited fine.
So before heading off this bank holiday, make sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist if taking medication and do not drive if you are advised that you may be impaired.”
Transporting Your Bike
If you’re planning to experience the great outdoors this bank holiday, rear-mounted bike racks are a cheap and convenient option for transporting your family’s bikes anywhere in the UK. Should you opt for a bike rack that attaches to the back of your car, it’s important to ensure your number plate and brake lights can still be seen or you risk a £1,000 fine.
Eben comments,” if you do drive with a rear-mounted bike rack, you may need to invest in a light board and detachable number plate to use while transporting your bikes to travel safely without obscuring your licence plate and lights.”
Bank Holiday Parking
Some people might assume restrictions on parking don’t apply on a bank holiday, however, this is not the case. If the signs state that the parking restrictions apply Monday to Saturday, for example, these will still be in place if it’s a bank holiday unless signs specifically exclude this.
This is the same for both single and double yellow lines. If caught, the local council can issue you a Penalty Charge Notice which can cost the motorist anywhere between £50 and £80.
Eben Lovatt explains that “rules may vary from place to place so if you are going anywhere on a bank holiday, check the council’s website before you go. It’s safer to treat the bank holiday as a normal day unless signs are telling you the rules are different.”