Six driving habits could land you fines of £5k – from tailgating to beeping

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Have you ever wondered if you're breaking any rules on the road?

Some roads in the UK either have a speed camera or police officer lurking nearby to stop you if you're risking others.

Motoring offences are often judged on an individual basis, with penalties ranging from a verbal warning to a fine of up to £5,000.

And in some cases, breaking a rule on the road could land you three penalty points on your licence.

The team at USwitch have run through six of the most frustrating driving habits in the UK and how risky they really are.

So how many have you broken?

Middle lane hogging

If you have to overtake a middle lane hogger then you'll know just how annoying it can be.

The middle lane must only be used for overtaking, however it's common for motorists to remain there for a long time.

In the Highway Code, it states: "You should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear.

"If you are overtaking a number of slow-moving vehicles, you should return to the left-hand lane as soon as you are safely past."

New penalties were introduced in June 2013 in a bid to tackle the problem for police to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for careless driving.

Motorists could be hit with a £100 fine and three penalty points for using the middle lane in the wrong way.

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Parking across two spots

It's understandable for expensive car owners to want to protect their vehicle, but it's not right to park across two bays.

Depending on whether you're in a public or privately owned car park, fines can range from £25 to £100.

If you've received a fine, you should check the parking space met the minimum width which is currently 1.62m wide.

This is measured from the outer edges of the white lines and could be your grounds for appeal.

Tailgating

This is another offence motorists often fail to follow on the roads.

Tailgating increases the chances of an accident, especially if the driver in front needs to brake sharply to stop.

Police have the power to issue-on-the-spot fixed penalties for inconsiderate lane use.

You could risk a £100 fine and three penalty points on your licence for tailgating.

USwitch's car expert Ben Smithson said: "There are situations where you need to keep more distance from the vehicle ahead.

"Those who are towing a trailer or caravan should also keep more distance, alongside anyone driving in poorly lit areas or fog."

Driving below the speed limit

We know how speeding could land you an offence, but did you know driving slowly could do the same?

It might not seem like it's dangerous, but driving below the speed limit has the potential to enrage other road users.

The offence could provoke tailgating, alongside unsafe overtaking procedures.

Cases are judged on an individual basis, with penalties ranging from a verbal warning to a maximum fine of £5,000.

In less severe incidents, drivers are likely to be charged with a low-level speeding offence, where you'll get a £100 fine and points.

Failing to use your indicators correctly

Even if there are no cars on the road, failing to signal to pedestrians could land you nine points, a fine and possibly a disqualification.

The Highway Code states: "Signals warn and inform other road users, including pedestrians, of your intended actions."

If you fail to indicate and somebody is injured as a result, you can be charged for "driving without due care or attention".

Ben said: "Failing to use your indicators to signal is not only confusing for other road users and pedestrians, but also dangerous."

Beeping unnecessarily

If you're beeping your horn in a moment of rage, you may want to keep the noise down in future.

The Highway Code says you should only use your horn "while the vehicle is moving and you need to warn others of your presence".

You're not even allowed to beep outside someone's home to let them know you've arrived either.

Police have the power to give you a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £30 which could increase to £1,000 if you fail to pay.

If excessive beeping happens in residential areas, local councils can also act under the noise pollution law.

The council will send a letter and if the noise continues, the maximum fine is £5,000 or £20,000 on commercial premises.

  • Motoring

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