Drivers warned of huge fines for swearing behind the wheel
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Motorists across the UK have been urged to reel in their inner road rage as swearing behind the wheel can result in fines up to £1,000. This is because drivers can be handed a penalty for “disorderly conduct” under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.
The act states that anyone caught swearing at another road user could be fined up to 75 percent of their weekly wage, capped at £1,000.
This includes both verbal swearing and offensive hand gestures.
Drivers could also be fined for “not being in full control of a vehicle” if they take their hands off the wheel.
This rule particularly applies to those who choose to throw aggressive gestures toward other road users.
Mark Rigby, the CEO of Insurance Revolution, has now urged drivers to familiarise themselves with the little-known rule.
He said: “It’s essential to be aware of these rules not only because you could be fined, which no one wants, but also because it can affect your concentration on the road which could lead to some catastrophic events.
“Furthermore, when you swear at another driver, you automatically put them on the defensive which will make them feel like you are attacking them.
“Consequently, they might start swearing as well which creates a less than adequate environment for driving.”
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Mr Rigby added that motorists may often experience rage due to “tailgating, talking on the phone and overtaking on the inside”.
The expert also shared some tips that drivers should follow to remain calm behind the wheel.
Mr Rigby said: “Firstly, especially if you are planning a longer trip, it’s essential to ensure you’re in a good state of mind before getting in the car.
“If you’re distressed, you’re less likely to drive safely and more likely to experience road rage.
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“Also try to avoid driving when you feel tired as this can affect your ability to concentrate on the road.
“Experiencing lethargy can make you more easily distracted, irritated, and more likely to be offended by others driving.
“Additionally, we are all well aware that there are dangerous drivers on the road but it’s important not to overreact to another person’s bad driving as this can cause you to feel road rage.”
The expert continued: “Instead, although it can be easier said than done, keep moving and focus on your own driving.
“Finally, if another driver tries to aggressively confront you, avoid conflict and don’t get out of the car.
“If necessary also call the police if the situation escalates.”
Latest statistics show that, in total, 3,549 road rage crimes were recorded in 2019, up from 3,076 crimes in 2018 and 2,548 offences in 2017.
A total of 2,361 road rage offences were recorded between January and October 2020, despite lockdowns caused by the Covid pandemic.
However, the actual figures are likely to be much higher as just 24 forces out of 46 provided data on road rage crimes.
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