Little-known Highway Code rule could see drivers fined for parking their car at night

Highway Code changes slammed by Steve McNamara

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The Highway Code sets out the mandatory rules that drivers should follow to ensure they are being safe on the road. Rules 248 to 252 outline how drivers should act when parking at night.

The first rule states that drivers “must not park on a road at night facing against the direction of the traffic flow unless in a recognised parking space”.

All vehicles must also display parking lights when parked on a road or a lay-by on a road with a speed limit greater than 30mph (48 km/h).

While the Highway Code is advisory only, road users could face charges for careless and inconsiderate driving, which could see them fined.

Fines are likely to be a maximum of £1,000 unless police deem the parking is so severe it requires court action.

In some extreme cases, fines could be increased up to £2,500 and could even see motorists temporarily banned from the road.

With the winter months approaching, motorists are also warned when parking in fog.

Rule 251 clarifies that it is “especially dangerous” to park on the road in fog, and if it is unavoidable, drivers should leave the parking lights or sidelights on.

Another rule applies to cars, goods vehicles not exceeding 2500 kg laden weight, invalid carriages, motorcycles and pedal cycles.

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These vehicles may be parked without lights on a road (or lay-by) with a speed limit of 30 mph (48 km/h) or less.

However, this only applies if they are at least 10 metres away from any junction, close to the kerb and facing in the direction of the traffic flow.

They should also be in a recognised parking place or lay-by.

Other vehicles and trailers, and all vehicles with projecting loads, must not be left on a road at night without lights.

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Nick Zapolski, founder of, said that many drivers will have broken some – if not all – of these little-known rules.

He added: “Our research has already shown that nearly three-quarters of British drivers have honked their horn or sworn at other drivers in frustration.

“But even the most angelic drivers are at risk with some of these obscure facts, like correct sunglass use. 

“I’d urge all drivers to check out our list to make sure they don’t end up £5,000 poorer this summer.”

As many as 70 percent of drivers are unknowingly breaking Highway Code rules on a regular basis.

If a parked car was involved in an accident and authorities decided the driver was at fault for parking it against Highway Code regulations, further action could be taken.

Other commonly broken Highway Code rules include leaving animals in cars on the hard shoulder.

Most motorists know that if they break down on the motorway, any occupants of the car should vacate immediately and find a safe place to await help.

But few know that they cannot take any animals with them.

Rule 56 of the Highway Code states that pets cannot be on the hard shoulder in any circumstances.

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