1:00 AM 28th October 2023
Stay Safe On Halloween
Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash
Ask yourself this: do you know what spooky driving mishap could deflate the fun on Halloween night faster than a punctured pumpkin? You might not guess, but it's breaking the 'fancy dress and driving' laws that apply in the United Kingdom.
The key Driving Laws to be aware of in the United Kingdom are:
Obstruction of Vision: Under Rule 90 of the Highway Code, your vision mustn't be obstructed while driving. Costumes, particularly masks or those with elaborate headpieces, can often reduce visibility and increase the likelihood of accidents on the road.
Interference with Vehicle Controls: If any element of your costume makes it difficult to control your vehicle, this is against the law under Rule 97 of the Highway Code. Long, flowing costumes, capes, or unwieldy footwear could potentially interfere with your ability to safely manage your vehicle.
Violation of Seatbelt Laws: Seatbelts must be worn at all times when driving, as per Section 14(2) of the Road Traffic Act 1988. Costumes with bulky accessories or inflexible elements could interfere with proper use of a seatbelt, potentially earning you a fine.
Here are some practical tips to stay within the Right Side of the law:
Select a costume that won't encroach upon your vision or limit your movement while behind the wheel.
Remove masks or headgear when driving. Alternatively, opt for face paint instead of a mask.
Check that your seatbelt can fasten securely before leaving the house.
The Price of Breaking the Rules
Rules are there for a reason, and when ignored, penalties apply. The scale of fines can depend, but drivers can expect fines of:
Up to £100 for not wearing a seatbelt.
Up to £1,000 for driving without proper control of the vehicle.
Up to £1,000 for driving with obscured vision.
In more serious cases, drivers could have points added to their licence, or even be disqualified from driving.
Dominic Wyatt from the International Drivers Association says:
"Breaking the rules of the road is not a trifling matter, even on Halloween. Ignorance is not a defence.
"Weak excuses won't cut it when you're caught out on the road. But most importantly, these rules are there for the safety of all road users. Halloween brings out the playful spirit and while you may want to 'trick or treat' in full character, it's essential to remember road safety.
"If you're pulled over, expect to face the consequences - in some cases, that can include steep fines."