There are many hundreds of driving offences on the statute books, but only a relative few are regularly broken by drivers to the extent that courts must deal with them time and time again. Worst of all, these commonoffences tend to be at the higher end of the punishment scale, attracting stiffer penalties and fines. If you find yourself regularly stopped by police for these offences, it might be time to seek professional legal advice from a firm like GC Traffic Lawyers or perhaps even consider taking a driver refresher course.
Of course, the best way to avoid trouble with the police is to not commit offences in the first place. Here are a few of the most common, and serious, driving offences to avoid if you want to hold on to your licence.
Drink drivingIt’s been more than 30 years since governments identified drink-driving as a major killer on the road and began campaigns to stop the offence through a combination of demonization and an appeal to common sense. While the numbers of drink-drivers are decreasing, many motorists continue to think it is okay to drive after consuming too much alcohol. It’s an offence even to sleep in the car if you are drunk and in possession of the keys. Don’t tempt fate. If you are going to drink, leave the car at home.
Driving while disqualifiedOne of the consequences of being caught drink-driving is having your drivers’ licence disqualified for sometimes lengthy periods. Yet this isn’t enough to stop some idiots from getting behind the wheel – some even drive home from court just hours after being disqualified. Driving after having your licence taken from you by the courts is serious and repeat offenders can find themselves in a prison cell.
Unlicensed drivingJust slightly less serious is the offence of unlicensed driving. This is usually committed by people who have let their licence expire (intentionally or unintentionally), drivers who have not sought to get a new licence after a period of disqualification and those who never bothered to get a licence in the first place. It is unacceptable, except in a dire emergency, to drive without a licence.
SpeedingEveryone knows not to do it, yet just about everyone goes over the limit occasionally, even by just a little bit. The fact is, speed kills and exceeding it by even a few kilometres an hour poses a danger not just to you, but to all other road users. Speeding can make it more difficult to control your vehicle and increase the distance it takes to stop, especially in an emergency.
Driving while holding an electronic deviceA relatively new offence, driving while using (or even touching) an electronic device such as a smart phone or tablet can be a trap for unsuspecting drivers. Most people know that they can talk on their phone only if it is connected to a hands-free device through cable or Bluetooth. What they don’t know it is also illegal to even touch your phone. This includes using it as a GPS while it is attached to a holder or just checking your text messages.
There are so many traffic offences that it is relatively easy to be caught breaking a rule. But avoid these five most common offences, and you stand a better chance of holding your drivers’ licence a little longer.
Image credits: "Cell phone use while driving" by Ed Brown as Edbrown05 - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cell_phone_use_while_driving.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Cell_phone_use_while_driving.jpg