‘Irresponsible’: Drivers risk £100 fine and licence penalty points for Christmas activity
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As Christmas slowly approaches, motorists are being urged to drive responsibly for their own safety and to escape large fines. Even activities as simple as picking out a Christmas tree could land motorists in hot water.
While there are no specific rules in the Highway Code regarding transporting Christmas trees via your car, there are related rules regarding overloading your vehicles.
These rules can lead to a £100 fine, up to three points on a driving licence and even damage to your vehicle.
Drivers may also be punished for the vehicle being in a dangerous condition under the Road Traffic Act 1998.
This could occur if the tree’s distribution, weight, position or the way it is secured is affecting the vehicle and how it drives.
When transporting a tree, drivers need to make sure they have full visibility out of all windows and that the tree isn’t impacting the ability to use mirrors, gear stick, indicators or steering wheel.
The Highway Code states: “You must secure your load and it must not stick out dangerously.”
When attaching a Christmas tree to the top of a vehicle, the airflow will try to lift the front of any long load so it will need a secure fixing holding the front of the load down.
In addition to the front, a fixing to the rear will stop a heavy load sliding forwards when braking.
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If drivers are unsure as to how to transport their tree, they are advised to look into using a detachable trailer or hiring a van.
Keith Hawes, Director of Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, urged drivers to take care on roads this winter to avoid the hefty penalties.
He said: “Road accidents are more common around the winter period due a range of factors, such as bad weather conditions, dark nights and the density of traffic.
“It is important motorists follow the advice given and avoid contributing to these statistics due to irresponsible driving and festive modifications this Christmas.”
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