Drivers could face a £1,000 fine for flashing lights at other cars – ‘Not worth the risk!’

What changes are being made to the Highway Code?

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British drivers have been warned that they could face fines of up to £1,000 fines for using their headlights incorrectly. This means that motorists could be forced to fork out big sums of money for being friendly on the road by using headlights to let a fellow road users go first.

According to a recent study, more than half of British drivers are unaware of the rule.

Some 2,000 road users were surveyed in a new analysis by

Phil Morgan, Head of, said: “While the chances of getting fined for doing any of the offenses are extremely low, they’re still not worth the risk.

“While some of the offences might not be commonly known, nobody wants to risk their safety or have to pay a hefty fine for something that they didn’t know was going to cost them, so it’s best to know these sooner rather than later.

“What may be considered a friendly warning to other drivers can actually have consequences.

“Speed cameras and police officers are there to keep everyone safe so it’s vital they are respected.”

According to the Highway Code, drivers should only use their headlights to “to let other road users know that you are there” and not to “convey any other message”.

On top of that, motorists who warn other drivers of a speed trap on the road ahead could be slammed with a £1,000 fine.

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The Department for Transport says that anyone flashing their headlights to warn other road users is in breach of section 89 of the Police Act 1996.

The act states that it is an offence to “wilfully obstruct a constable in the execution of his/her duty”.

Police officers have the power to charge drivers with this criminal offence if they perceive the person has obstructed their ability to conduct speed checks on other motorists.

Obstructing a police officer is an offence capped at level three on the fine-scale, with a maximum penalty of £1,000.

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In the most extreme cases, obstructing a police officer can attract a maximum of one month’s imprisonment, however, it is highly unlikely a driver would ever be given a prison sentence for flashing their lights.

The RAC says: “Headlight flashes should only be used to warn drivers of your presence on the road.

“Simply put, it’s open to misinterpretation (particularly as it means different things in other countries), so think carefully before you reach for the beams.”

The Highway Code adds: “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.”

However, there is one other case where it is appropriate to flash your lights.

This is to warn another driver of a random hazard in the direction they are travelling.

This could be to warn drivers of a road accident, flash flood, or icy roads.

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