Safety laws

Safe driving is not just about following the rules of the road. How you behave as a driver is huge factor, so here is an overview of the key laws that you should know about.

Alcohol and drink-driving

Drinking alcohol before driving can seriously affect your ability to drive and make you more likely to have an accident. It’s best not to drink any alcohol before you drive. Check the legal limits for drinking alcohol before driving and the penalties for drink-driving.

Speed limits

Speed limits show the maximum speed at which you can legally drive, although traffic or weather conditions may mean that you’ll need to drive slower. Driving too fast increases the chances of you having an accident and increases the severity of the accident. Find out the national speed limits and the penalties if you’re caught driving over the speed limit.

Drugs and medicines

Drugs and medicines can affect your ability to drive safely. You must not take illegal drugs before you drive. If you’re taking a medicine, check the information leaflet to find out whether it’s likely to make you sleepy.

There’s information on GOV.UK about when you need to tell DVLA about drugs you’ve taken and the law on driving after you’ve taken drugs.

Mobile phones

Using a mobile phone or a similar device while you’re driving is very distracting: you’re 4 times more likely to have a crash when you’re using a phone. You must never use a hand-held mobile phone or a similar device while you’re driving. See the law on using a phone while you’re driving and the penalties if you’re caught doing this.

Tinted windows

To make sure you can see clearly out of your vehicle, there are laws on using tinted windows in the windscreen and front side windows. Failing to follow the law could lead to a penalty.

Seat belts

As a driver, you’re responsible for making sure your passengers use seat belts correctly and for wearing your own seat belt. Read the guide to the law on using seat belts.

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