Changes to driving laws: Little-known rule of the highway code can result in fines for overnight parking
The Highway Code sets out the mandatory rules that drivers must follow to ensure their safety on the road. Rules 248 to 252 describe how drivers must act when parking overnight.
The first rule states that drivers “must not park on a road at night against oncoming traffic, except in a recognized parking space”.
All vehicles must also display parking lights when parked on a road or rest area on a road with a speed limit over 30 mph (48 km/h).
While the rules of the road are only indicative, road users could face charges of reckless and reckless driving, which could lead to a fine.
Fines are likely to be a maximum of £1,000 unless the police deem the parking to be so serious that it requires legal action.
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These vehicles can be parked without lights on a road (or parking lot) with a speed limit of 30 mph (48 km/h) or less.
However, this only applies if they are at least 10 meters from any intersection, close to the sidewalk and facing the direction of traffic.
They must also be in a recognized parking spot or rest area.
Other vehicles and trailers, as well as all vehicles with protruding loads, should not be left on a road at night without lighting.
Nick Zapolski, founder of ChooseMyCar.com, said many drivers will have broken some – if not all – of these little-known rules.
He added: “Our research has already shown that almost three-quarters of UK drivers have honked or swore at other drivers out of frustration.
“But even the most angelic drivers are at risk with some of these arcane facts, like the correct use of sunglasses.
“I urge all drivers to check out our list to make sure they don’t find themselves £5,000 poorer this summer.”
Up to 70% of drivers regularly break traffic laws without knowing it.
If a parked car was involved in an accident and authorities decided the driver was at fault for parking it against traffic regulations, further action could be taken.
Other commonly broken traffic rules include leaving animals in cars in the hard shoulder.
Most motorists know that if they break down on the highway, everyone in the car should immediately leave the car and find a safe place to wait for help.
But few know that they cannot take any animal with them.
Rule 56 of the Highway Traffic Act states that pets cannot be taken into custody under any circumstances.