The winter months are a tough time for drivers, with bad weather creating tricky driving conditions.
Even before they get going in the morning motorists are often faced with the cold, boring task of de-icing their car.
But even that simple act could leave you facing a fine, depending on where and how you do it.
With sub-zero temperatures and worse, it’s all too tempting to start your car’s engine then nip back into the house while it warms up. However, if you’re parked on a public road you could be fined for contravening the Road Traffic Act rules on stationary idling. These enforce rule 123 of the Highway Code, which states: “You must not leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road”.
Doing so could land you a £20 fine. It also puts your car at risk of being snatched by opportunistic thieves who take advantage of the cold weather to target unattended cars.
Police could also fine you for the offence of “quitting” where you leave a car’s engine running while you’re not in it. This offence carries a £30 fixed penalty notice.
Even if you park on a driveway or stick with you car as it defrosts you could still be fined if you don’t clear the whole thing.
Rushing to get on the road and failing to properly clear your screen is not only dangerous but it’s also illegal and could land you with a fine of up at least £60 and three penalty points on your licence.
Only clearing a patch of the windscreen rather than the whole glass – known as portholing – can be counted as using an “unsuitable vehicle in a dangerous condition”, an offence that carries a fine and three penalty points. Fines range from £60 up to a potential £2,500 if you are taken to court.
To avoid such hassles and ensure you do a proper job of clearing your car follow our tips, including advice from NASA scientists.