Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
1:00 AM 9th September 2023

Night Time Driving Laws You Need To Know About As The Evenings Get Darker

Photo by ZACHARY STAINES on Unsplash
Photo by ZACHARY STAINES on Unsplash
International Drivers Association are issuing a warning as the nights are getting darker, rule 248 of the UK Highway Code stipulates that if you are parking your vehicle on a road with a speed limit higher than 30 mph at nighttime, you are required to leave your sidelights on. This rule aims to increase the visibility of parked cars, making it easier for other road users to spot them, thus reducing the risk of collisions.

Why Is This Rule Important?

Visibility: On roads with higher speed limits, drivers are moving quickly and have less time to react to obstacles. A parked vehicle without lights could be nearly invisible until it's too late.

Road Safety: The higher the speed limit, the more severe the consequences of a collision. Therefore, measures that can reduce the risk, such as keeping sidelights on, are particularly important on these faster roads.

Public Awareness: Many drivers are not aware of this rule, thinking that parking lights are more of a courtesy than a legal requirement. Awareness of this could prevent accidents and fines.

What Are Sidelights?

Sidelights, also known as parking lights or running lights, are the small, white or amber lights located at the front corners of the vehicle, often integrated into the headlamp unit. They are not as bright as headlights but are sufficient for making a vehicle visible in the dark.

Legal Implications

Potential Fines: Failure to adhere to this rule could lead to a fine. While it may not be as hefty as a fine for a more serious driving offense, it's an expense that can easily be avoided, with fines as high as £300.

Points on License: Depending on the situation and the discretion of law enforcement, you could potentially also receive points on your license for this oversight.

Michael BIssona, from the IDA explains the Insurance Impact:
“Being found in violation of any Highway Code rule can have implications for your car insurance rates.

"It's worth noting that parking rules can vary by jurisdiction and specific conditions, so always check local rules and regulations in addition to the Highway Code when you're unsure.

"Overall, Rule 248 serves as a useful, albeit lesser-known, guideline aimed at keeping roads safer, and it's in every driver's best interest to be aware of it.”