If you are driving along and you notice another motorist coming from the opposite direction flashing their lights at you, then it usually means a couple of different things.
You have either forgotten to put your headlights on, you have left your weekly shopping on your roof, or there is a speed camera in front of you
If you ride a motorbike and a fellow biker approaches you having just gone through a speed trap, then a hand gesture is normally given to alert the other biker.
Hand signals often used by motorcyclists
Of course, if you aren’t speeding, then you have nothing to worry about (assuming you are taxed, insured, MOT’d and have a valid driving licence).
But if you have crept over the speed limit, then this unofficial ‘warning system’ will not only slow you down, but it could potentially save you from having to spend £100 on a ‘speed awareness course’.
And let’s face it, motoring is already expensive!
But flashing your headlights at your fellow motorists to warn them about a speed trap could also land you with a £1000 fine.
Chronicle Live revealed that this ‘early warning system’ could actually mean that you end up paying a fine that is 10x higher than what the speeding motorist could face.
The Highway Code (last read just before you passed your driving test) explains that you can only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there (Rule 101).
But if this rule is taken literally, then it also means flashing your lights to let other motorists pull out of a junction could even land you in trouble.
Unlikely, but possible.
The Department of Transport has warned that a breach of Rule 110 and 111, which outline the rules of motorists flashing their headlights, could stand up in a court of law as evidence.
Don’t worry; it is unlikely that you will end up with a motoring conviction just because you warned a motorist about a speed trap by flashing your headlights at them.
But if a police officer spots you doing it and they really want to throw the book at you, then they could technically fine/summons you for breaching section 89 of the Police Act 1997: “willfully obstruct a constable in the execution of his/her duty.”
The maximum fine for obstructing a police officer is currently capped at £1,000.
Maybe then, it is just easier and less grief (and safer) to stick to the posted speed limit?
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