Drivers risk £1,000 fines for using horns in New Year’s Day traffic

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As many enjoy their last few days off after Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the roads are sure to be flooded with drivers. The RAC previously estimated that between December 20 and December 28, there would be around 27 million trips by car.

With the uncertainty about how many drivers will be on the road, drivers are being warned of potential fines for using their car horn.

All motorists have been stuck in traffic before and have been tempted to slam their horn to release their frustration. But not many know that when in traffic, this may be illegal.

Rule 112 of the Highway Code states: “Use only while your vehicle is moving and you need to warn other road users of your presence.

“Never sound your horn aggressively. You MUST NOT use your horn while stationary on the road.”

It is also illegal to sound the horn while driving in a built-up area between 11:30pm and seven in the morning.

The only exception the Highway Code allows is to alert others when another road user poses a danger.

Research has shown that half of all UK drivers have honked their horn at another driver.

Police can issue motorists with a fine for the illegal use of car horns. This is usually a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £30.

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If drivers don’t agree with an FPN being issued, they can challenge the decision in court – but if they lose, the fine can be increased to up to £1,000.

Even local councils can take action against those using a car horn illegally under the noise pollution law.

If someone is causing excessive noise pollution and breaking the law, the council will get in touch.

If no change occurs, an abatement notice is issued – and if it isn’t complied with, the maximum fine is £5,000 on domestic premises and £20,000 on commercial premises.

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Further research from 2018 found that just 38 percent of drivers were clued up about the rules surrounding horn use.

Philip Ward, chief operating officer of Warranty Direct, said: “Our survey revealed there is a strong need for UK drivers to brush up on their knowledge of driving laws.

“The results suggest many mistakes made could be down to not knowing the appropriate laws, which can be easily rectified.

“We recommend any unsure drivers to re-read a copy of the Highway Code to avoid causing any dangerous situations when out on the road.”

Drivers are also urged to be careful when choosing to drink on New Year’s Eve and drive the next day. 

This is because, how quickly the body processes alcohol is different for everyone and depends on height, weight, gender, the amount consumed and food eaten.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the limit is 80 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood, 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath and 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine.

Scotland differs slightly, where the limit is 50 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood, 22 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath and 67 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine.

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