The 'helpful' headlight move that could land you with a £1,000 fine

Driving stock image.
-Credit: (Image: PhotoAlto / Odilon Dimier via Getty)

Motorists often find common ground when it comes to the presence of a police camera van on the roads. Many drivers who have encountered these mobile speed cameras may have noticed 'considerate' motorists travelling in the opposite direction warning those ahead by flashing their headlights. However, this is not recommended and, according to road rules, should never be done.

Some drivers do this with the intention of giving a friendly heads-up to others to prevent them from being caught speeding by the police. This could be perceived as one driver doing a favour for another. However, law enforcement officers do not look kindly upon such actions. Flashing your lights to warn other drivers of upcoming speed traps is considered an offence.

A surprising 40% of people are unaware of this, while 20% have confessed to having done it in the past. Those found guilty of this could face a hefty £1,000 fine.

READ MORE: Win a £200 Wickes voucher to celebrate the launch of Kimberley Walsh's new paint

Get breaking news on BirminghamLive WhatsApp

While some drivers might question the harm in this, the police aim to observe natural road conditions - especially at known speeding hotspots where safety issues may have been flagged. Other frowned-upon behaviours involving flashing headlights include intimidating other drivers, such as when approaching in the outside lane of a motorway.

Rule 110 of the Highway Code clearly states: "Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users." In areas known for parking issues, police are often on the lookout as many drivers get caught out.

Nick Powell from the AA emphasised the importance of being up-to-date with the Highway Code: "It's important that every driver is fully aware of the Highway Code, to ensure they keep themselves, and others, safe while on the roads. A lack of understanding from even one driver can impact the safety of every other vehicle, cyclist, and pedestrian they share the road with, as well as the people or pets they might have in their car."

He also advised motorists to regularly update their knowledge of traffic laws: "Motorists should take the time to refresh their knowledge of traffic rules and regulations, no matter how long they're been driving, and should also avoid any common mistakes, such as speeding or swearing at other motorists. Drivers are accountable for the safety of all their passengers too, so they need to ensure they don't overfill the vehicle, that any pets are secured, and that every single person is wearing a seatbelt."