Drivers could be handed £1,000 fine travelling to Christmas parties

Motorists could be slapped with a hefty £1,000 fine and penalty points for driving to a Christmas party because of a little-known driving law, according to experts. 

Specialists have suggested wearing elegant outfits for a night out could backfire with some drivers likely to be issued major punishments

The Highway Code makes clear that clothing and footwear must not affect motorists’ ability to control a vehicle which could be difficult in some situations. 

Compare the Market warns women wearing high heels and those with fancy dress costumes could be most affected.

They said: “Whether it takes weeks to plan the perfect party outfit or it’s a last-minute find, drivers should always make sure that their clothing and footwear choice doesn’t interfere with their ability to drive safely. 

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“Shoes like high heels or a fancy dress outfit that restricts movement while driving could prevent motorists from maintaining proper control of the vehicle, which breaks Rule 97 of the Highway Code and can land them with a £1,000 fine and three penalty points.”

Rule 97 of the Highway Code makes clear that road users should ensure that “clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner”.

It also states motorists must have “full control and maximum vision” of the road at all times.

Specialists at Vanarama have also warned that Christmas party costumes may impact how easily road users can access their pedals.

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The motoring group has also warned of the dangers surrounding Christmas jumpers which could distract motorists and others on the road.

They commented: “When getting dressed up for this year’s Christmas parties, make sure you don’t drive in shoes such as high heels because how your foot is positioned it means you can’t access the brakes well, and similar to those driving in slip-on shoes. 

“It’s also important to make sure you aren’t wearing a Christmas jumper with lights on that could distract drivers or any Christmas costume which means you aren’t in full control of the car, as this could see you get a £1,000 fine and three points on your licence for ‘Failure to have proper control of the vehicle’.”

Compare the Market has warned motorists could even be handed a discretionary driving ban in some extreme circumstances. 

Julie Daniels, spokesperson for Compare the Market said: “Christmas is a busy period, so it’s especially important to be prepared when making journeys in your car. 

“Take the time to plan your trip before you set off, including checking the traffic conditions, weather forecast, and road closures. If you’re driving a long distance, you should also break your journey up into shorter sections and allow plenty of time for rest stops.

“Most importantly, make sure to keep up to date with the rules of the road and follow these closely at all times. Christmas is expensive enough without unexpected fines to pay, and penalty points can make matters worse by potentially increasing the cost of your car insurance.”

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