How many of you have an air freshener hanging from your cab’s rear-view mirror? Or maybe you’re more of a fluffy dice person?
If you’re working as a truck driver in the UK, you may find that a dangling air freshener could land you with a £1,000 fine and three points on your licence.
A new crackdown by police in the UK means that anything from dirty windscreens to badly-placed sat navs and fluffy dice could be seen as obstructing the driver’s view of the road ahead.
Drivers caught with an offending item could face a £100 on-the-spot fine. However, even if the fine is avoided, insurers may refuse to pay out if the driver is involved in an accident and they decide their vision had been impeded by such items. If the case ends up in court, the fine could potentially increase to £1,000. Ouch!
Having a dirty windscreen or an oversized hanging air freshener is not illegal in the UK. However, according to the UK’s Highway Code and Road Traffic Act, drivers are breaking the law if their view of the road is restricted in any way.
UK Road Traffic Law states that: “No person shall drive or cause or permit any other person to drive a motor vehicle on a road if he is in such a position that he cannot have proper control of the vehicle or have a full view of the road and traffic ahead.”
Rebecca Ashton, head of driver behaviour at UK road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, stated: “Missing something because you had something obscuring your view could potentially be extremely dangerous, good driving involves exceptional observation skills, seeing things early allows you to anticipate and plan how you deal with hazards.”
And did you hear about the driver who was shamed by police on social media in Hampshire after having caused a collision? The car was so cluttered, the driver was unable to pull up the handbrake while parking and prevent the car from rolling into another car.
If police decide that a car or truck cab is too messy to be controlled safely then they can issue a fine of £60. What would happen if a police officer looked into your cab right now?
The majority of truckers take pride in their cabs, keeping them spick and span. But we’ve all seen cabs that need a bit of TLC. It might be time to give your cab a quick tidy – and maybe think twice before you hang that pair of fluffy dice from the rear-view mirror.
Just a thought…