It can prove surprisingly easy for drivers to land themselves with a penalty sanction without realising their mistake, whilst driving (or indeed parking) on British roads. Last year The Daily Mail revealed that nearly 10 million driving fines were issued in the decade to 2012.
While many of these fines will have been for perfectly legitimate reasons, plenty of them will have caused drivers to feel unfairly treated, especially if they received a fine for an “offence” that road conditions made impossible to prevent.
Here are five examples of incidents that can land individuals with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). Some of them are far from being common knowledge:
1. Idling whilst stationary: Not everyone knows that leaving a car idling can land the driver with a fixed penalty notice for up to £40. Local authorities tend to take individual approaches to enforcement of this rule, and are encouraged not to be overzealous – but taken to extremes this can even mean a fine for leaving a car stationary to warm up on a cold day. This rule does NOT apply when sitting still in traffic.
2. Driving around obstructions: Sometimes obstructions in the road may cause a driver to have to mount a kerb or go into a bus or cycle lane – triggering a fixed penalty that couldn’t have feasibly been avoided but still requires an appeal.
3. Failing to give pedestrians right of way: Pedestrians having right of way on all British roads is a hotly-debated theory – something clear from the hundreds of lively (and heated) forum threads on the subject.
In actual fact, The Highway Code makes a point to all road users that “the rules in The Highway Code do not give you the right of way in any circumstance,” and instead refers to who has priority in certain circumstances.