Scaffolders and van drivers across Britain are being urged to acquaint themselves with some of the country’s most obscure parking laws or else risk facing fines that could amount to £1,000.
Motoring experts at LeaseVan have identified several lesser-known driving laws that could catch drivers off guard, leading to hefty fines and penalties.
Among the peculiar parking regulations, parking next to a fire hydrant is singled out, with potential on-the-spot fines of £500 for those obstructing access to these vital emergency water sources. Breaking exempt times on double yellow lines can also lead to fixed penalty points, adding to the parking-related infractions list.
Another unexpected law drivers should know is parking a van with a dirty number plate. If the registration on the vehicle is rendered unreadable due to dirt and grime, drivers could be slapped with a hefty £1,000 fine.
Tim Alcock, a spokesperson from LeaseVan, emphasised the importance of understanding these lesser-known laws, stating, “Drivers need to brush up on their motoring laws to prevent any nasty surprises if a fine comes through the post. Even common mistakes such as parking too close to a fire hydrant and having a dirty van can result in hefty fines, which is why it’s important to be vigilant when it comes to your vehicle. Some of these laws can result in fines of up to £1,000, points on your license, and eventually a driving ban if continuously broken.”
Here are seven of Britain’s strangest van parking laws that drivers should be aware of:
1. Parking a Dirty Van: If a vehicle is covered in dirt and grime while parked, and the number plate becomes unreadable, the driver can be charged a £1,000 fine.
2. Parking Close to a Fire Hydrant: Van drivers can face £500 fines for parking too close to a fire hydrant, as emergency services require clear and easy access to water for any incidents.
3. Pavement Parking: While it’s not illegal to park your car on the pavement, it’s considered a criminal offence in London unless specific permission is granted. Vans can still be reported in cases where the vehicle is causing an obstruction.
4. Saving Spaces: Using wheelie bins, traffic cones, or other objects to reserve a parking space near your house or workspace can result in fixed penalties, as it can be seen as causing a dangerous obstruction on the road.
5. Parking Heavy Vans on Grass Verges: Rules regarding parking on grass verges can vary between local councils, but it’s generally allowed unless the van exceeds the optimal weight limit of 7.5 tonnes. Drivers should always check the local rules before parking on a grass verge.
6. Remove Air Fresheners: Motorists need to remove any ornaments or air fresheners that obstruct their view of the road. Van drivers can be found guilty of careless driving under the Road Traffic Act 1988 if an accident occurs due to an obstructed view.
7. Breaking Time Limits on Double Yellows: The general rule is that vans engaged in light loading have 20 minutes of access on double yellow lines, which is extended to 40 minutes for heavy loading. Exceeding these time limits can result in penalty fines and points on the driver’s license.