MOTORISTS who crash their cars in bad weather could face fines of more than £1000.
According to the law, drivers can be held responsible for accidents despite snowy or icy conditions.
Drivers are being warned how to avoid hefty fines and losing licence points[/caption]
Anyone charged with driving carelessly won’t be able to blame the weather[/caption]
Brits are being warned to avoid heavy penalties and incurring licence points while driving dangerously this winter.
Examples of careless driving could include driving without dehumidifying the window, slipping on ice or crashing due to poor visibility.
Careless driving can carry a three to nine-point penalty and an “unlimited” fine.
The fines are based on a percentage of a person’s weekly income and the seriousness of the offence.
The most serious offences could see drivers fined 600 per cent of their weekly pay.
A lesser breach of the law could see a lower fine of 150 per cent.
For example, a person earning the average yearly wage of £29,900 – £460 a week after tax – could be fined at 150 per cent about £690, while another person on £44,000 a year would have to pay around £1000 for the same crime.
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It is up to the discretion of the court how long a driver has to pay but it can be up to a year, although the principal the find should be paid immediately.
Criminal defence barrister Quentin Hunt told The Sun Online one of his clients was pulled over by cops for driving with a foggy window while another was pinged for driving at the speed limit in bad weather.
Mr Hunt said: “If you are particularly rich, you may face a stiff fine. If you’re not particularly well-off, it’s done on the basis of what you can afford to pay.”
Hunt urged drivers to do what they can to stay safe before an accident happens.
He said: “If you set off in your car without demisting your windscreen then there’s a high likelihood you are committing a serious offence.
“If you can’t see out of your windscreen how can you see hazards and properly manoeuvre your vehicle? Make sure you’re driving suitably for the conditions, even though speed limits exist, don’t drive at those speeds if the weather conditions don’t warrant it.”
Ash Young, Managing Director at CarMats.co.uk, said motorists have the power to choose whether or not to drive in hazardous conditions.
He said: “Drivers are urged to stay off the roads when the weather is too dangerous to safely operate the vehicle.
“Should you take the road under hazardous conditions, you have to take full responsibility for yourself, any passengers, other drivers on the road, and your car.”
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) told The Sun Online driving needs to be a factor in each journey.
A spokesperson said: “Disruption should be expected on all roads whenever there is adverse weather, and drivers should plan their journeys accordingly, and consider whether they need to make a journey at all.
“Leave extra time before setting off on a journey and if required, ensure your vehicle is thoroughly defrosted, and that windscreens and lights are completely clear.
“In wet and other dangerous weather conditions, reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front to account for greater stopping distances.”
10 rules to follow to keep safe when driving in snowy and ice conditions
1. Make sure you can see clearly from the driving seat
2. Check around your car before setting off
3. Pack for the eventuality of getting stuck
4. Check your planned route
5. Keep well back from the vehicle in front
6. Drive extremely carefully
7. Try and keep all of your motions smooth and under control
8. Don’t stop when going uphill
9. Stop driving if visibility is impaired
10. Ensure you have absolutely no distractions
Quentin Hunt told The Sun Online one client was pulled over with a foggy window[/caption]