Glastonbury Festival drivers at risk of £1,000 fine, expert says

Police car
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Motorists heading to Glastonbury this week have been warned some simple driving mistakes could result in a hefty fine.

With around 200,000 punters heading to the five-day festival have been told to expect all motorways and A-roads nearby to have a heavy amount of congestion. While it's important to prepare your journey ahead of time, you should also check your vehicle for some key things to make sure it's up to code.

Motoring experts at National Scrap Car warned that some easy mistakes could land drivers in a lot of legal trouble and ultimately punish their wallet. This includes things that are easy to ignore such as a dirty number plate and putting too much stuff in your boot.

Motoring expert Dorry Potter said: "Proper preparation and adherence to traffic laws are crucial to prevent accidents and ensure a smooth journey to the festival. Thorough vehicle checks including tyre pressure, fluid levels and battery health are essential to avoid any breakdowns en route to the festival or any nasty surprises when leaving the site on the Monday.

“Additionally, 10-20% of all crashes are estimated to be caused due to driver fatigue, with motorways and dual carriageways experiencing the highest volume of crashes. With festivals happening in rural settings, and with partygoers travelling long distances the risks are clear. Make sure you’re well rested and not under the influence before getting in your vehicle ahead or post the festival”

Here's a breakdown of the things that could land you in trouble on the way to Glastonbury this week...

Dirty number plates

With the possibility of rain on the horizon for the festival, drivers are being urged to keep their number plates clean to avoid a hefty fine. According to the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994, if you're caught with a dirty number plate, you could be hit with an immediate fine of £100.

If the case goes to court, this could escalate to a level 3 fine of £1,000.

Honking your horn incorrectly

While traffic jams are synonymous with festivals, no matter how exasperating it may be, using your horn for reasons other than alerting others to your presence, such as out of frustration, could result in a fine. The use of horns is generally limited to warning purposes only.

A horn should only be used to warn someone of danger from another vehicle or any other type of hazard, not to express your irritation.

It's also illegal to use a horn on a moving vehicle on a restricted road, essentially a road with street lights and a 30 mph limit, between the hours of 11:30pm and 07:00am

Police can slap motorists with a fine for the illegal use of car horns. This is typically a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £30.

If drivers dispute an FPN, they can contest the decision in court - but if they lose, the fine can be bumped up to as much as £1,000.

Overloading your vehicle

Heading to a festival often means packing your vehicle to the max with everything from tents to extra passengers and food supplies. However, according to the DVSA's roadside check guidelines, drivers could be slapped with a £300 fixed penalty if their vehicle is found to be overloaded by 15% or more.

Overloading by 0-10% can result in a £100 fine, while overloading by 10-15% can lead to a £200 penalty.

The maximum payload weight varies depending on your car's size. For smaller vehicles like the Renault Clio, Fiat 500, and Volkswagen Polo, the maximum payload weight ranges between 385kg and 482kg.

With four adult passengers, each carrying suitcases, tents and supplies, it's easy to tip over a 400kg payload.

Flashing lights outside of festival site

Highway Code Rule 110 states that headlights should only flash to communicate 'I am here', alerting other drivers to your presence. Flashing your lights out of frustration, to give way to other drivers or to convey any other message could land you with a fine up to £1,000.

Wearing your wellies while driving

Your feet will undoubtedly be decked out in a variety of footwear during the festival, from wellies to crocs. But muddy wellies or shoes pose a significant risk when driving as they can easily slip on the pedals.

If a driver is involved in an incident and police note their improper footwear, they could be accused of "driving without due care and attention" - which could result in a £100 fine and the accumulation of three points against their driving permit.

In case it escalates to trial, the penalty could escalate to as much as £5,000 with nine penalty points and potentially even a driving prohibition so its wise to pop on suitable footwear before you embark on your journey.

Experts advise that drivers pack a spare set of clothing and shoes and keep them inside their vehicle throughout the festival, so they have dry and comfortable attire to wear during the drive back home.