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Are you a motoring law breaker?

Are you a motoring law-breaker?

Most drivers will familiarise themselves with basic rules of the road, but there are some lesser-known rules that could land you in trouble with Gardaí. Here are seven things drivers often do that are actually illegal.

Beeping your horn: Drivers are taught only to use their horns to warn others of their presence when driving over bridges or turning around dangerous bends with low visibility.

However, most of us will have heard motorists using their horns for very different reasons. Most drivers may not know that it is against the law to use their horns excessively. According to the rules of the road, it should also not be used between 11.30pm and 7.00am, unless it’s an emergency.

Smoking: Smoking whilst driving itself is not against the law, but smoking in your car while there are any passengers under the age of 18 present is illegal. Drivers are responsible for the passengers in their car, and so any person smoking with a child in the vehicle could land themselves in trouble with the Gardaí.

Splashing pedestrians with water from puddles: Ireland can be a very wet and rainy place, meaning that puddles of water can often gather on the road’s verges. Walking by puddles of water on a busy road is a cause for concern for many pedestrians as they run the risk of being splashed by any car approaching at speed. However, it is, in fact, against the law to splash a pedestrian by driving through a puddle. If the action is proved to be deliberate, the driver could face a charge of driving without reasonable consideration to other road users under section 51a of the Road Traffic Act.

Taking your pet out of the car during a breakdown: Should a motorist break down on a motorway, they are told to exit the vehicle and wait in a safe place until help arrives.

However, the same rules do not apply to pets. Rules of the road state you should leave animals in the vehicle or in an emergency to keep them under control.

Exiting your vehicle on a single yellow line: Drivers are not permitted to park on a single yellow line, which makes it also illegal to exit your vehicle at a yellow line at certain times.

For example, when there is no parking during the hours indicated on a street sign.

Dirty number plates: We have all heard complaints about the ‘state’ of the roads over the winter months as people struggle to keep their cars clean. Keeping vehicles free from dirt, however, is a must, even if it can be challenging at times, as registration plates must be visible at all times.

Eating while driving: Although eating itself is not illegal, it is an offence to eat behind the wheel if it could cause you to drive without due care and attention. This could lead to you getting in serious trouble as it distracts you from the road.


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