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Drivers could be hit with the massive charges for road rage such as swearing at motorists or even beeping their car horns. In some extreme cases, taking your hands off the wheel to gesture at another driver may see officers charge you for “not being in full control of a vehicle”.
Keith Hawes, Director at Nationwide Vehicle Contracts has warned frustrations may boil over this winter as lockdown ends and roads begin to fill up.
He suggested that bad weather conditions and Christmas shopping delays could leave drivers struggling to contain their anger.
Mr Hawes said: “Lockdown is, hopefully, nearing an end, and with it, the roads will start to fill up again- particularly with those last-minute Christmas shoppers.
“This, along with the increasingly worse weather conditions, may play a part in causing motorists to lose their temper behind the wheel.
“A natural impulse of many drivers is to let out this anger in the form of putting up a middle finger or even making a rude gesture at other motorists.
“What many don’t know is this could land you in a lot of trouble.”
Drivers could also be issued a road rage penalty for driving aggressively or too close to the car in front of them.
Speeding around another vehicle is another form of aggression which officers are likely to issue penalties for.
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Mr Hawes says cheaper fixed penalties of just £30 could be issued in some smaller cases.
However, motorists who may have put themselves or other road users at risk should be expected to face the full force of the law.
He said: “Road rage in this form is a punishable offence under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, those that are found guilty of such can be handed a £1,000 fine or three points on their licence.
“Similarly, aggressively honking your horn without due cause comes with fixed penalty notice of £30, but failure to pay this could result in the fine being increased to £1,000.”
“So before you act on impulse it may be worth counting to ten and forgetting about it before you land yourself with a huge fine in the run-up to Christmas.”
As well as a financial penalty, some road users may find that breaking the law comes with extra consequences.
Picking up penalty points will almost certainly affect your car insurance premiums with prices possibly being higher for up to four years after the incident.
Younger drivers can have their licence revoked if they pick up six points on their licence within two years of passing their test.
This means that small-scale issues like this could see thousands of youngsters lose their freedoms immediately after lockdown ends.
Jack Cousens, Head of Roads Policy for the AA, said: “A small minority of drivers think that being sat in their car exempts them from an offence like this.
“However, this kind of anti-social behaviour can land you in hot water and take you on an expensive trip to the courts.
“Road users have a duty of care to each other, so keeping your cool and remaining focused is important.
“Your hands should remain on the wheel and your eyes on the road.
“Rather than let the tailgater get under your skin, where safe to do so, it is better to let them pass so you can carry on your journey in a calm manner.”
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