What changes are being made to the Highway Code?
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While driving in sunny weather can be one of life’s pleasures, particularly bright sun can be very dangerous. Although most drivers will wear sunglasses, most are unaware that each pair come with a categorisation that you need to check before wearing them on the road.
Sunglasses have ratings which go from zero to four – and it’s important to pick the right ones for driving at different times.
Motoring experts at Scrap Car Comparison have warned that wearing the wrong sunglasses behind the wheel could also see drivers fined and hit with points on their licence.
Motorists could also get penalised for not wearing any sunglasses at all, reported Wales Online.
However, it’s not a legal requirement within the UK to wear sunglasses while driving in bright sunny conditions.
In terms of the Highway Code, Rule 237 does state that drivers should slow down or pull over if they are “dazzled by bright sunlight”.
If a driver isn’t wearing sunglasses to block out the sun’s glare and continues on the road while squinting or glancing away from the road, a police officer could deem them to be driving without due care and attention.
Careless driving offences usually carry £100 on-the-spot fines in addition to three penalty points on a licence.
However, this could rise to a staggering nine penalty points and a fine of up to £5,000 if the matter is contested in court.
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The tint or shape of certain sunglasses can even stop drivers from seeing properly – and similarly land them in trouble with the law.
Lenses on sunglasses have different tint densities, which refer to the amount of light they let through to the eye.
Using a scale of zero to four, category four sunglasses should by law be labelled as being “not suitable for driving”.
That means that being caught driving while wearing them could land a driver in serious trouble.
Meanwhile, category three to one sunglasses are not suitable for night driving, meaning the only lenses you can wear all day long are category zero.
The charge for not adhering to these laws is similar to the “driving without due care and attention” penalty for not wearing any sunglasses at all: a £100 on-the-spot fine and the potential for this to rise to nine penalty points and a £5,000 fine if contested.
Dan Gick, Managing Director of Scrap Car Comparison, said: “As we all know, the Great British weather can throw all sorts at us throughout the seasons, forcing us to consider multiple dangers in a single year when it comes to driving.
“We’ll all be hoping for blue skies and sunny weather over the summer months, and while it does feel extreme to run the risk of being penalised for either not wearing sunglasses or for wearing the wrong style of sunglasses, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
“Keeping yourself and other drivers safe on the roads no matter the conditions, as well as avoiding any worry of points or fines is paramount.
“This may mean having to keep a pair of ‘driving’ sunglasses in the car.
“But it is a small price to pay if it helps you to avoid glare from the sun and any issues with the law!”
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