Drivers could be fined £1,000 for saying “thanks” at the wheel

Drivers could be fined £1,000 for saying “thanks” at the wheel

Common courtesy on the roads is saying “thank you” when being let through by a fellow road user, but it could end up costing you.

Although it’s the polite thing to do, thanking other drivers when they help you out on the roads is more often than a breach of the Highway Code. Breaching the Highway Code could leave you with a hefty fine and/or points on your licence. 

Unless you are in close enough proximity to another motorist verbally, the safest bet is to not acknowledge them at all. It can be difficult to ignore their kindness, particularly if they let have let you merge in front of them, but ignoring their gesture could prove cost-effective.

A study by National Tyres and Autocare revealed that over one in five drivers choose to flash their headlights as a way of showing gratitude, but they are breaking the Highway Code in doing so. One in three drivers prefer a wave or thumbs-up, and one in 20 drivers do not react at all.

Here are three ways that could land you in trouble;

Flashing headlights - A fine of up to £1,000

The Highway Code states drivers should only flash their headlights to make other drivers aware of their presence. Particularly if they are unsure whether the other driver has seen them. If you get caught flashing your headlights for any other reason then you could face a £1,000 fine.

Hazard lights- A fine up to £1,000

Similarly to flashing headlights, using your hazard lights unnecessarily could land you a hefty fine. The code clearly states “You MUST NOT use hazard warning lights while driving or being towed unless you are on a motorway or unrestricted dual carriageway and you need to warn drivers behind you of a hazard or obstruction ahead. Only use them for long enough to ensure that your warning has been observed.” 

A classic wave or thumbs-up- A fine up to £1,000 and 3 penalty points

The Highway Code is very strict on drivers being in full control of their vehicle at all times. If caught waving and deemed not in control of your car, you pose a threat to other road users- and could incur a fine of £1,000 and a further 3-point penalty on your licence. 

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