Driving Law vs. Driving Etiquette

When it comes to driving, most people are fully aware of the motoring laws that have been put in place for the safety of road users and pedestrians. However, there are a lot of rules that are just driving etiquette, and aren’t actually the law.

In this blog we will explore some of the rules of the road, to ensure you know just what is just driving etiquette, and what you could actually get prosecuted for.

Driving through an amber light

The law says that you should only drive through an amber light if it is unsafe to stop. If you have no other reason other than that you’re too impatient to stop at an amber light, you are actually breaking the law if you drive through it.

When to use your full-beam headlights

While there is no law to say when you should or shouldn’t use your full-beam headlights, driving etiquette says that they should only be used in rural areas, and when there are no vehicles coming in the opposite direction.

Failing to turn off your full beams when there is oncoming traffic could result in drivers being dazzled, which will greatly decrease their visibility. If this causes an accident, you could find yourself facing a penalty for Driving without Due Care and Attention. This can incur 3 to 9 penalty points on your license, as well as a fine imposed by the Courts.

Speed limits around schools

You may have seen that many schools have a speed limit sign as you approach them. This will usually say something like “20mph when lights show”. Even though this is not the full-time limit, it is still an enforceable speed limit, and failure to take this into consideration is breaking the law.

Keeping up with the flow of traffic on the motorway

There is a persistent driving myth that good motorway driving etiquette says you should keep up with the flow of traffic whilst on the motorway, even if this means driving above the speed limit. However, driving above the speed limit is against the law, regardless of where or when this occurs.   

Keep to 70mph, even if the occasional vehicle flies past you at 100mph. The police have many ways of checking speed limits on motorways, including the use of speed cameras, plus unmarked and marked vehicles.

For more information on driving laws and to ensure you’re up-to-date with the latest regulations, visit the official government website.

If you’ve been accused of a driving offence, we strongly recommend obtaining professional legal advice to discuss what to do next. Contact one of our expert driving offence solicitors today.