Did you know you can be fined for incorrect use of lights whilst driving?
Of course, we all know to turn on our headlights when its night-time, but so often we see motorists driving in low visibility conditions without any lights on at all. There are rules for when conditions require the use of lights, be it headlights, side lights, registration plate lights, fog lights, hazard lights or brake lights.
Here are some quick reminders on when you should use your lights:
- Brake Lights should come on when the foot brake is used however spare a thought for the driver behind you who could be dazzled by your brake lights if you keep the brake on in stationary traffic for any length of time.
- If you have a brake light out, you can be fined £60.00 and have 3 points put on your licence. You could also be issued with a Roadside Prohibition Notice which means you will have to fix the fault within 10 days. Not only is it against the law to drive without your brake lights in full working order, but it is also very dangerous and could cause an accident if you brake suddenly as the driver behind won’t know you are slowing down.
- Side lights and registration lights must be lit between dawn and dusk, even if you think you can manage without them. All new cars now have daytime running lights that come on automatically and which turn off when the headlights or sidelights are lit.
- Night-time is defined as the period 30 minutes before sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise, and you should be using your full beam during this period. You are supposed to dip your lights if driving in well-lit pedestrian areas, and if you are driving under 30 mph in a well-lit area, you are permitted to just use your sidelights.
- When overtaking you should keep your headlights dipped until you are level with the vehicle you are overtaking, and then you can adjust your beam, but not if it will dazzle oncoming drivers.
- If you are the one being dazzled by bright headlights, you should slow down to a speed so that you are driving safely and only speed up once you can see the road ahead clearly.
- Hazard warning lights should be turned on if you have broken down or are causing an obstruction. This alerts other road users to the hazard so they have time to take necessary avoiding action. They can also be used to warn drivers behind you if you are towing or if there is a traffic jam or obstruction ahead, but in this instance they should only be used for a short time.
- All cars are fitted with at least one rear fog light and some cars also have front fog lights, which are situated below the headlights helping to illuminate the road beneath the fog. There is always the tendency to forget to turn off your fog lights in clear conditions, but did you know it is illegal to drive with rear fog lights on in clear conditions? You can actually be fined £30.00 but you won’t receive any points on your licence.
We hope this check list serves as a reminder and will keep you safe on the road over the darker, winter days. Foster & Heanes is an established MOT and Service Garage in Fleet Hampshire. We offer a free light bulb fitting service so if you find you have a light not working, please pop into either our Fleet or Dogmersfield garage and we will change it for you.
If you would like further advice on car maintenance, please give us a call on 01252 615657 or visit www.fosterandheanesltd.co.uk for further information on the full range of garage services.