Archive 28th February 2014

Think you’re A Law Abiding Driver? Think Again!

There are all sorts of rules and regulations we need to adhere to when we’re out on the roads. What immediately springs to mind is staying well within the speed limits. The other major law many people immediately think about is drinking and driving, or even driving under the influence of drugs.

However, no matter how long you’ve been driving it can be difficult to keep up with the latest in driving laws. In fact, these days it can seem like the minute you get into your car all eyes are watching! There are cameras everywhere, you have to be careful of the odd police car at the side of the road complete with patrolman and speed camera at the ready, not to mention making sure you’ve paid a congestion charge in certain areas.

If you’ve just passed your driving test the following information will be incredibly useful to you. If you’ve held a full UK driving licence for some time and it’s clean, you may be surprised to learn that you could have unwittingly broken some of the laws detailed below simply because you’re unaware of them.

So, let’s take a look:

Altruism and the Roads

It’s not against the law to show a bit of kindness when you’re on the road. For instance, leaving a gap when you’re in traffic so someone-else can join the queue from a side road is very considerate, and could actually make someone’s day. However, if you happen to pass a policeman that’s armed with a speeding camera, it might come as a surprise that if you’re caught warning other motorists coming in the other direction, you could face a fine of up to £500!

Mobile Phones

Yes! We know! It’s against the law to take a mobile phone call in your car when driving unless you use an approved hands-free kit. However, if you don’t have this luxury and often pull over to the side of the road so you can take a phone call, you could be breaking the law.

If you’re found talking on your phone (even if you’re stationary) without the aid of hands-free, you could be in trouble if you have left the engine running. Some may think this is a silly rule, but think about it? What if you were to accidentally leave the handbrake off and then hit the accelerator pedal? This could result in you losing control of your car, and that’s why you should ALWAYS switch the engine off.

Other Laws

Beeping your horn when stuck in traffic i.e. your vehicle is switched on but stationary is illegal. There are of course, exceptions to this rule. If you think someone might be in danger, then you’re quite within your rights to let them know.

Not all of us are great at keeping our cars clean, but if you’re stopped and your number plate is too dirty for a policeman to read, this could carry a fine of up to £1,000! So, the next time you get in your car, just think about some of the less obvious road laws so you can hang on to that clean driving licence!

Learning to Drive – Parents and Their Kids

Our blog section is generally all about letting youngsters know how to go about learning to drive. What the best tools there are out there to help you pass your test first time, how you can be a good driver from the minute you pass and a whole heap of other hints and tips.

However, it recently occurred to us that we have neglected how parents feel in all of this! After all, you’ve been through thick and thin with your children, and it doesn’t stop just because they’re about to move into a new phase of their lives – adulthood!

Watching your “baby” take to the roads can be a particularly worrying time for any parent. How will they cope being on their own? Will they learn how to handle a car, and deal with the road and all the dangers it can pose? Are they likely to give in to pressure and make a stupid mistake when they have friends in their car?

These are all questions that will go through a parent’s mind but at the end of the day, you have to let them grow up. Many of you reading this may think that you are letting your child grow up.  After all, you just want to help (or are you)!

Teaching Your Child to Drive

You might think you’re the best person for the job. After all, you have been driving for many years without so much as a speeding ticket to your name! You may also think that you know all the “tricks of the trade”. But, and there is one big BUT coming!

No matter how well you drive or how safe you are, you have to accept that you’re not trained in the art of teaching someone to drive. Professional instructors are highly trained and spend many years perfecting this (they hold a special licence for a reason).

Add to this the fact that the relationship between parent and child can become pretty strained when you’re out in the car together, and it could end up in disaster.

Leave it to the Professionals

Of course, its understandable that you will want to make sure your “precious bundle” is well looked after when they go for driving lessons, and this is one very constructive way in which you can help. Use your life experience to make sure the instructor who will finally be chosen to teach your child to drive will be able to do so safely, professionally and successfully.

You might not believe it right now, but if you choose wisely you’re giving your child the best start when they first embark upon their driving career. Plus, it won’t mean shouting matches in your own car because of yet another near miss with the kerb or lamp post (that’s what the professionals are there to help avoid)!

Overall, whilst it can be hard to accept that your teenager is moving on to another phase in their life that feels like they’re been taken even further away from you, they will thank you for making sure the stress they’re feeling is kept well under control. And, pretty much the only way to do that is to let them learn with a certified instructor.

The Worst Driving Habits in the UK

If you’re no stranger to our blog, you will know we’re all about letting you know little hints and tips about how you can gain a full UK driving licence with the minimum of fuss and stress! You will also know that’s not all we talk about. Our blog is full of information that will help new and “old” drivers alike. Today, we aim to let you in on some of the worst driving habits in the UK.

Before we get going with what are considered some of the worst habits, you may be feeling pretty smug right now because you’re one of the best drivers on the road – right? Wrong! It may seem harsh to point this out but no-one is perfect and when you read the information below, remember to take a good look at the way you drive because the chances are you’ve probably developed some, it not all of these habits as well.

Speeding Up and Slowing Down

OK, so there are a couple of things that spring to mind with this especially when it comes to driving on the motorway. For instance, how many times on a long journey have you gone sailing past another driver only to find they scoot past you minutes later? In fact, how many times have you done this?

You could also attribute this bad habit to both van and taxi drivers and the reason for this is probably because they always have to be somewhere. However, slamming on the accelerator for a half a mile, only to find you have to break particularly hard isn’t just dangerous it also costs more in fuel not to mention the amount of added wear and tear on your vehicle!

Changing Lanes Last Minute

Now you have to be honest with this one. We’ve all done it! There are generally two reasons why someone will feel the need to change lanes last minute, and both of them tend to happen in heavy traffic. The first is the type of driver who has not paid attention to where they’re going and has realised (last minute) they need to be in the other lane.

The other type of driver is the sort that just CANNOT stand queues and sees it as their God given right to change lanes so they can gain a few seconds journey time on everyone-else. This isn’t just annoying for other drivers it’s also highly dangerous and could result in an accident. Plus, it can make traffic problems worse so think about this the next time you decide to change lanes at the most inappropriate moment.


We have only used two examples in this post but there are many other bad habits to consider when you’re out on the road. In our last post we discussed drivers who refuse to move over to the inside lane on the motorway, and prefer instead to “hog” the middle lane. Again, this isn’t just dangerous but its VERY annoying for other drivers.

If you started reading this article thinking nothing at all was going to relate to you when you’re in a car, what do you think now?

Motorway Lane Discipline

You may have just passed your driving test and are now the proud owner of a brand spanking new full UK driving licence. However, not everyone has the benefit of being able to then go on to an advanced driving course that will really teach them about how to handle driving on a motorway. In which case, this article is a MUST read before you get into any bad habits.

If you’re someone who has had your licence for a while and think you know everything about motorway driving, you might be in for a shock! You see the law on motorway lane discipline in the UK is that you only use the two outside lanes when you intend to overtake. This may surprise some of you because there are an alarming amount of “qualified” drivers on the roads that simply don’t understand this rule, or choose to ignore it!

The Myths

  • Some people you come across view the inside lane (or the first) as the “slow” lane – not true! This is the lane where vehicles travel when they have no need to overtake.
  • Others think it’s their God given right to zoom along the motorway in the middle or 2nd lane without moving over. There may be several reasons for this. They might be nervous about moving lanes and have got stuck there (although that doesn’t account for this situation on the rare occasion the motorway is empty)! It could be they can’t be bothered to use their mirrors, and turn the wheel slightly so they can move over, or it could just be complete ignorance.
  • Drivers often refer to the 3rd lane (or the outside lane) as the “fast” lane – also not true! This lane is there if you need to overtake vehicles that are travelling too slowly in the first two, and was originally put there to ease traffic congestion.

Why You Should Use Motorway Lane Discipline

This is a simple statement to answer. It’s safer! For example, Lorries’ are big heavy vehicles that can cause a lot of damage if they’re involved in an accident. This type of vehicle is not allowed to use the outside lane on a motorway so they only have two open to them.

Say you’re “hogging” the middle lane and the motorway is moderately busy but you’re travelling too slowly for a lorry. The driver needs to overtake a vehicle on the inside lane but you’re in the way. They cannot go around you to the 3rd lane (it’s against the law), yet they can’t remain behind you because you’re stuck in their overtaking lane.

This can, and does lead to terrible accidents, which is just one of many reasons why you should observe the rules! We say this to all new drivers who have not been able to benefit from taking a pass plus:

Ignore people if they refer to motorway lanes as “slow”, “middle” and “fast”. Instead, remember they are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Oh, and also remember the maximum speed limit is 70mph and that’s there for a reason too!