With massive footie finals approaching, the Championship Play-Off between Coventry City and Luton Town, and the FA Cup between rivals Manchester United and Manchester City, football fanatics all over the country will be eagerly following.
There is concern that the hugely anticipated Wembley Stadium stadium games will cause unruly behaviour on the roads after home office statistics revealed that football-related disorder is at an eight-year high.
Football fans are now being warned to avoid getting carried away with their celebrations if they are driving, as they could be breaking road laws and highway code rules.
If the Police believe that a driver is not in proper control of their vehicle, they could be charged with careless driving. This carries a maximum penalty of £5,000, three to nine points on licence and a discretionary driving disqualification.
Everyday football celebrations, which include honking the horn when a goal is scored and blasting football songs on the radio, could land fans in hot water if caught by the police.
Tim Alcock from LeaseCar.uk said: “With excitement building for the finals, football fans should think twice before celebrating if in their car because they could be breaking the law.
“Anything which causes a distraction on the roads should be avoided, or drivers risk endangering other road users and themselves.
“It may be tempting to show support for your team by beeping if they score or blasting chants, but anyone committing road offences will be punished if caught by the police.
“Reports of the football-related disorder have been incredibly high recently, and having this translate to the roads will prove fatal if fans don’t behave.
“Distractions are causes of dangerous driving, and fans will face imprisonment if an accident is caused which results in death or injury.”
These are the habits LeaseCar.uk say football fans should avoid on the roads:
Beeping the horn
Rule 112 of the Highway Code states that horns should only be used to warn another road user of a driver’s presence and should never be used aggressively.
The illegal use of a horn could see drivers hit with a Fixed Penalty Notice or a fine of up to £1000 should it get wrongly challenged by a driver in court.
Blasting out football songs and commentary could also be seen as careless driving as it breaks rule 148 of the Highway Code, which states that safe driving and riding needs concentration and that all distractions should be avoided.
If a driver causes an accident and the police believe it is a result of the loud music causing a distraction, they could be hit with 9 points, an unlimited fine and a discretionary disqualification.
Checking the score
Using a hand-held mobile phone when driving is illegal, so fans should never consider checking their scores while driving.
If caught on a mobile phone, drivers could receive £1000, discretionary disqualification and 6 points. If a driver has passed their test in the last two years, they could lose their licence.
With the football on and train strikes predicted, fans may be tempted to have a pint or two to celebrate and drive. However, if pulled over and found to be over the limit, they face two years imprisonment, an unlimited fine and disqualification.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a specific offence and is also considered dangerous and careless driving.
Fans who decorate the car with their team’s logos, merchandise and flags risk violating Regulation 30 of The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, which states motorists must have a full view of the road and traffic ahead.
Breaking this rule could see drivers slapped with a £1000 fine and three points; however, punishment and penalties will increase if an accident is caused.
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