Drivers face hefty £5,000 fine for making simple summer error

Drivers could be hit with hefty penalties for making a simple error while behind the wheel. Many motorists wear sunglasses while driving, offering some much needed shade from the glare of the sunshine.

Taking your hands off the steering wheel to clean sunglasses may seem an innocent move but it could actually land you in trouble. It could be considered a major safety risk and lead to heavy sanctions for breaking a driving law.

Graham Conway, spokesperson for vehicle leasing firm Select Car Leasing, warned motorists could even be charged for making the simple error. The warning comes as the UK is set to see the hottest day of the 2024 so far next week, with heatwaves predicted for many areas.

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Mr Conway said: "If you spot a smudge or bit of dirt on your sunglasses, and clean them while you’re driving, it may lead to a punishment and a hefty fine. That’s because you typically take one or even both hands off the wheel momentarily to wipe the lenses and that could be reason enough to be charged with ‘driving without due care or attention’."

This penalty falls under a 'careless driving' offence, Express reports. Drivers are likely to be hit with a £5,000 fine if caught out and even nine penalty points on their licence.

In some cases, road users can even be accused of 'dangerous driving' and face a minimum 12-month driving ban. Mr Conway said: "You might even resort to quickly taking both of your hands off the wheel to make sure you can clean the edge of the lenses.

"But if you do this, even for only for a second, you are considered to be putting yourself and other road users in serious danger. Say you hit a pothole while not in full control, your car might suddenly change direction and send you hurtling towards another vehicle."

Bright sunlight can dazzle motorists with the AA confirming that glare is 'frequently blamed as the cause of road traffic accidents'. Mr Conway added: "Make sure your sunglasses are clean, but also make sure they’re close to hand should you need them.

"And remember to make sure that the lenses in your sunglasses aren’t so dark that they obscure your vision, particularly if you’re driving early in the morning or at dusk."