Festival goers at risk of these little-known driving penalties

Group of friends travelling with a vintage minivan

With Glastonbury festival kicking off in a week’s time, punters will be packing the final bits before setting off to enjoy 5 days of revelry in the fields.

Attendees can expect mixed weather and the surrounding motorways and key A-roads are likely to be congested from Wednesday to Friday as around 200,000 people head for Worthy Farm.

However, the motoring experts at National Scrap Car have warned drivers of the easy mistakes they could make that could land them with some hefty fines.

Motoring expert Dorry Potter at National Scrap Car explains, “proper preparation and adherence to traffic laws are crucial to prevent accidents and ensure a smooth journey to the festival.

“Thorough vehicle checks including tyre pressure, fluid levels and battery health are essential to avoid any breakdowns en route to the festival or any nasty surprises when leaving the site on the Monday.

“Additionally, 10-20% of all crashes are estimated to be caused due to driver fatigue, with motorways and dual carriageways experiencing the highest volume of crashes. With festivals happening in rural settings, and with party goers travelling long distances the risks are clear. Make sure you’re well rested and not under the influence before getting in your vehicle ahead or post the festival”

Dirty number plates can set you back £1,000

With potential rain forecasted for the festival, drivers are advised to keep their number plates clean to avoid a hefty fine.

Under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 if you are caught with a dirty number plate, you may receive an on the spot fine of £100 or, if a matter is passed to court this can increase up to a level 3 fine of £1000.

Using your horn can come at a price

While long queues of traffic come hand in hand with festivals, no matter how frustrating it may feel honking your horn for reasons other than alerting traffic of your presence, such as out of frustration, can result in a fine. Horn use is generally restricted to warning purposes only.

A horn should only be used when warning someone of any danger due to another vehicle or any other kind of danger, and not to indicate your annoyance.

It is also illegal to use a horn on a moving vehicle on a restricted road, basically a road that has street lights and a 30 mph limit, between the times of 11:30 p.m. and 07:00 a.m.

Police can issue motorists with a fine for the illegal use of car horns. This is usually a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £30. 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.

Watch out for overloading your vehicle

From tents to additional passengers to food and drink, vehicles are typically packed to the brim when heading to a festival. However, according to the DVSA’s guidance on roadside checks, drivers can face a fixed penalty of £300 if their vehicle is found to be overloaded by 15% or more. Overloading by 0-10% can result in a £100 penalty, while overloading by 10-15% can lead to a £200 fine.

The maximum payload weight will vary depending on the size of your car. For smaller cars, such as the Renault Clio, Fiat 500, and Volkswagen Polo, the maximum payload weight can be between 385kg and 482kg.

Assuming you have four adult passengers, each with suitcases, tents and supplies, it becomes quite easy to exceed a 400kg payload.

The only flashing lights should be on the festival site

Rule 110 of the Highway Code states that flashing your headlights should only be used to communicate ‘I am here’, thus alerting other drivers to your presence.

If you’re caught flashing your lights out of anger, giving way to other drivers or suggesting any other kind of message you could be fined up to £1,000.

Remove your wellies before driving

Undoubtedly your feet will be adorned with an array of footwear during the festival from wellies to crocs. Muddy wellies or shoes however are a big risk when driving as they can easily slip on the pedals.

If you were to be involved in an accident and police spotted your inappropriate footwear, it may be noted that you were “driving without due care and attention”, which would mean you were given a £100 fine and three points on your licence.

If the case goes to court, the fine rises to a maximum £5,000 fine, nine penalty points and could even see you banned from driving – so it’s best to put some proper footwear on before you set off.

It’s recommended to pack a change of shoes and clothes and store them in your car throughout the festival to ensure you have something dry and comfortable to wear for the journey home.

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