UK mobile phone driving laws explained by the RAC
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They warn having objects “sticking out” a car or moving furniture which is “not secured properly” could result in legal action for dangerous driving. They said heavy items would be likely to affect car performance which may make you a danger to other motorists.
Joel Kempson, Car insurance expert at USwitch said they should check whether their car appeared dangerous to a “general” and “competent” driver before setting off.
He said: “A lot of the law around driving is common sense and up for interpretation.
“Our advice would be to check if you think your car might be dangerous and whether you think it would look dangerous to a general, careful and competent driver.
“Loading up your car and moving furniture is completely legal, and of course covered by your car insurance, but you must exercise caution.
“Having objects sticking out or not secured properly could lead to a police officer taking the view that it is dangerous.
“Similarly, if your car is too heavy to accelerate fast enough at a junction, you could be considered dangerous by the police.”
As well as slowing down your car, stacking items in your vehicle is likely to cause a major road distraction.
The items could well block the rear windscreen or your view of the car’s wing mirrors which will affect visibility.
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Experts at USwitch also warn drivers must not exceed their cars Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) at all times.
Every vehicle has its own unique GVW so drivers are urged to check before accidentally breaking the little known rule.
USwitch said small items hanging out of the boot will usually be fine as long as the item is less than a metre long.
However, items between one and two months require the end to be clearly visible by a marker.
Uswitch said items hanging out the side of a window will also be allowed as long as the item is below 305mm.
Items should not exceed the length of your car’s wing mirror as this could hit another vehicle or a pedestrian.
Drivers who intend to travel with items sticking out of their car will need to provide the police with two days notice and must receive permission.
However, Ask the Police said drivers could still be in trouble even if they follow the rules.
They said: “Please be aware that even if you comply with the above requirements if the load is unsafe/insecure or if your vehicle is overweight, you could be prosecuted.”
AA spokesperson Jack Cousens urged drivers to get their car professionally checked at a weighbridge if they feel they could be reaching the legal weight limit.
He said: “In most modern cars, you’d be hard-pressed to take the vehicle over its weight restriction.
“However you should always check the handbook and ideally, weigh everything before putting it in the car.
“If you feel you are close to breaching the limit, drivers should head to a weighbridge and get an accurate reading.”
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