Drivers at risk of fines for simple dashboard button mistake during winter

As the days get shorter, and it’s dark when most people are commuting to and from work, drivers across the UK are searching for ways to stay safe on gloomy roads.

The obvious solution for many motorists is to turn on their fog lights to help them stay visible to other drivers, but Peter Waddell, motor expert and CEO of, has issued a warning to Britons.

“It’s a common misconception that fog lights must always be on during winter or rainy weather. However, their misuse, particularly in clear conditions, can result in a £30 fine and points on your licence. 

“In the lead up to Christmas, the last thing any of us want is to have to fork out extra money for a simple mistake like this.”

Motorists are unsure on the laws regarding fog lights, with many wondering if it is illegal to drive without them – but Peter warned that actually the opposite can occasionally be true.

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“Many drivers don’t know that it is actually illegal to use your fog lights when they are not needed,” the car expert explained.

“This is because they can do more harm than good, dazzling other drivers and potentially causing other accidents.

“This is why we always encourage drivers to only use their fog lights when necessary. When visibility drops below 100 metres – roughly the size of a football pitch – failing to use your fog lights can be incredibly dangerous.

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“Foggy conditions can build up quickly, sometimes without us even noticing. And, while a football pitch might seem like a big distance, the importance of keeping a close eye on visibility can’t be overstated,” Peter advised.

It isn’t just safe practice to use fog lights during significantly reduced visibility such as heavy fog or mist, but a requirement according to the Highway Code to ensure all road users are safe.

“The primary function of fog lights is to enhance your visibility during dense fog. Drivers should remember to switch them off once conditions improve, as unnecessarily illuminated fog lights can dazzle other drivers and lead to dangerous driving situations.”

It is important that drivers familiarise themselves with their vehicle’s controls, including fog light controls which can vary depending on the car model.

“Usually, it involves activating the headlights first, followed by locating and operating the fog light control, often found on the indicator stalk or a dashboard button.

“Knowing how to activate your fog lights is an essential aspect of vehicle knowledge. This can typically be done by engaging your headlights and then using a specific control for the fog lights, such as rotating a part of the light stalk or pressing a dedicated button. Always check your vehicle’s manual for accurate guidance.”

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