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How Well Do You Know Motoring Law?

By raccars Published

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Motorists breaking traffic laws are clearly visible on pretty much every journey. You are likely to see other drivers using mobile phones or tucking into breakfast every day, if you spend a reasonable amount of time on the motorway or stuck at red lights.

In most cases, you would assume these drivers are well aware that they are breaking the law but have decided to take a chance. However, the RAC has conducted a survey that suggests a worrying number of motorists simply don't know the rules of the road.

The RAC poll asked drivers which of a number of offences were against the law. The results saw only 88% of drivers conscious that texting on a mobile phone while driving is illegal, only 79% aware that checking social media while at the wheel is against the law, only 69% were aware of laws against tailgating, 65% for aggressive driving, 58% for middle lane hogging and only 55% were aware that it is illegal to drive with a crack in the windscreen.

However, what the survey did not reveal is if those questioned genuinely did not understand the regulations or if they simply believed they would not get caught. While 75% of survey participants claimed to have seen other drivers using mobile phones, only 8% said they would do so themselves. This last figure, however, was nearly double among the 17-24 age group, who are the most attached to their mobiles.

A contributory factor appears to be the lack of police patrols on roads, which has left 42% of drivers feeling that they could break road rules, such as the ban on mobile use, without getting caught. Laws against tailgating and driving aggressively are relatively new, so it's forgiveable for a certain amount of motorists to claim ignorance, It would surely be reasonable to assume that most drivers know such behaviour is inadvisable.

There appears to be a contradiction, too, in the fact that while most drivers assume they are safe to break the rules due to the low risk of getting caught, surveys regularly claim that British motorists want to see higher numbers of police patrols for safer roads.

In the meantime, the fact remains that getting caught using a mobile phone while driving will cost you a £100 fine and three licence penalty points. More than a million drivers have been punished for breaking this law since its introduction in 2003, suggesting that drivers are not deterred by this level of punishment.

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