Research carried out by Slater and Gordon has found that nearly half of Brits are clueless about the rules of the road, but 97 per cent think they are good drivers.
So can you remember your Highway Code? And is it a defence in law to say you simply didn’t know the rules of the road if you’re pulled over by the police?
The research findings are quite eye-opening. 55 per cent of people said that they wouldn’t know how to tell if they were driving on a road with a 30mph limit. More shockingly over a fifth of people questioned didn’t know the national speed limit.
Paul Reddy, principal road traffic defence lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said it was disappointing but not surprising that many drivers know so little about the rules of the road. Slater and Gordon have seen a rise in the number of cases where drivers have been prosecuted for breaking laws they didn’t know existed.
Not knowing the basics, such as the speed limit, or maximum speed on certain roads, will inevitably see drivers being fined, prosecuted or banned for excess speed. Excess speed also means there’s a greater chance of being involved in, or causing, an accident.
Unfortunately ignorance of the law is no defence in court. All drivers should know the rules of the road and re-read the Highway Code if they’re not sure. There have been updates in the driving laws in the UK over the years and it’s sensible to make sure you are fully aware of the rules.
Other interesting finds from the research were:
- 40 per cent of motorists didn’t know the limit for drink driving, with many believing there were different limits for men and women.
- Nearly 50 per cent of motorists didn’t know you could be fined for driving without due care and attention if caught eating behind the wheel.
- 44 per cent admitted that they were unlikely to pass a theory test if asked to take one now.
- Nearly everyone questioned believed that they are a good driver.
If you would like to test your knowledge try our online quiz.
If you find yourself in trouble with the law over your driving then you need to contact a specialist road traffic defence lawyer before doing anything else. You may have a legitimate and honest defence but you will need to get advice at the earliest opportunity.