Motorists Can Be Fined £1,000 For Hanging Air Fresheners In Their Cars
Motorists are well aware of how pungent the interior of their cars can become. Which is why so many rely on air fresheners to keep things smelling pleasant. What they’re probably not aware of is the enormous fines they can land them with…
Air Freshener Fines
Driving with an air freshener seems innocent enough, but it can land you with £1,000 fines and three penalty points. The same goes for novelty dice, window stickers, phone holders, dirt and even sat navs. Whilst none of these things are illegal in of themselves, they can seriously compromise the vision of motorists. Why? It comes down to the Highway Code. It states that motorists mustn’t use a vehicle in which their view of the road is obstructed “in any way.” As far as the police are concerned, this can include hanging something from your rear-view mirror. If you’re caught, you’ll probably face an on-the-spot fine of £100. However, if you find yourself in an accident it could land you with much tougher penalties.
A Bigger Problem Than You Might Think
Whilst the idea of being fined for using an air freshener might sound draconian, there’s a good reason it’s penalised. In 2008, a taxi driver was fined following a fatal car crash for having fluffy dice on his rear-view mirror. In addition to these, he was using two air fresheners; significantly impairing his vision. Despite the risks, surveys have revealed that up to 1 in 11 drivers still make the mistake. The Highway Code states in full, “no person shall drive a motor vehicle on a road if he is in such a position that he cannot have a full view of the road and traffic ahead”. It goes on to state that the windows and windscreen of a car should be kept clean; meaning even dirt could land motorists in hot water.
The head of driver behaviour at safety charity IAM RoadSmart, Rebecca Ashton, has offered advice to drivers. She said, “anything hanging from the rear-view mirror or anything placed on the windscreen could restrict the drivers view, things people use tend to vary from air fresheners and dice hanging from the mirror to fans, large sat-navs and even using the navigation on an iPad.” She added, “we would suggest it is placed low on the windscreen, on the right hand side and if possible within the area where the windscreen wipers don’t clear. The main thing to remember is you should always try to avoid the drivers field of vision.”
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