The Personal Injury Blog

Obscure driving offences – be legal and be safe!

This is the first in a light-hearted series of blogs about some little-known driving offences which, if they lead to an accident, could mean you (or your insurer) might end up footing the bill. 

Medical conditions

Most people are aware that if you have an illness, disability or other condition which might affect your driving, then you need to tell the DVLA and your motor insurer about it. What many people may not be aware of is the number and variety of notifiable conditions. Less well known examples include: having recently had a caesarean section, suffering from an eating disorder or even suffering from déjà vu.  These are all conditions that could leave you liable to conviction if they lead to an accident, and they have not been declared to the DVLA. You might even have to pay a £1000.00 fine.

Middle-lane hogging

This one is better known, after a fairly successful publicity campaign on the electronic noticeboards which line the motorways of Britain. That said it is still a regular occurrence. Whether people drive solely in the middle lane through inattentiveness or fear of lorries is something I have never quite put my finger on! If you are caught sitting in the middle-lane unnecessarily, you could be handed 3 penalty points and an on-the-spot fine. Rule 264 of the Highway Code helpfully states “You should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear.  If you are overtaking a number of slow-moving vehicles, you should return to the left-hand lane as soon as you are safely past”.


Whilst not something that is likely to trouble your insurer (although you must declare any criminal offences), the 1824 Vagrancy Act makes it illegal to beg for money. The punishment is the equally modern “one month’s hard labour”.  How will this affect me, you might be thinking?  Well, have you ever had to ask to “borrow” a little spare change from a stranger for the meter?  You might want to remember your wallet or debit card next time!

Using your mobile to pay at drive-through

Isn’t it marvellous, being able to pay for things with a touch of your smart phone. Bear in mind that there are strict new laws about using your phone at the wheel. Technically, you could be given 6 points and a spot fine of £200.00 if you use your phone at the wheel without the engine off and the handbrake applied.  This is a scenario when using your bank card might be more sensible, especially as it seems that whenever I go to a McDonalds there seems to be at least one Police car parked up!

If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact our specialist team of lawyers for advice by calling 0114 218 4000 or emailing us at

John Green

John Green is an associate in our personal injury department. John grew up in Sheffield and had no hesitation returning here after studying law in Nottingham. He joined Taylor&Emmet in 2011 having trained and qualified with another local firm. John enjoys playing football and cricket in his spare time. For more information on this topic email or call him on 0114 218 4106.

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