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Car fines to be aware of this Halloween

Written by
Julie Daniels
Motor insurance comparison expert
Posted
18 OCTOBER 2023
5 min read
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Whether you’re heading to a costume party with friends, or taking the whole family trick-or-treating, the last thing you’ll want this Halloween is an unexpected fine.

With this in mind, we’ve taken a look at some of the laws drivers might be unaware of breaking this spooky season. From decorating your car to driving in a restrictive mask, we’ve put together a list of eight do’s and don’ts to help motorists avoid any ghostly disasters this Halloween.  

1. Make sure your Halloween costume doesn’t interfere with your control of the vehicle 

Highway code: ​​97 
Penalty: ​​£1,000 fine or discretionary qualification + ​3 penalty points   

While dressing up as your favourite movie character or celebrity isn’t illegal in itself, you could be landed with a hefty fine ​if your costume is seen to be interfering with your control over the car.  

​​If your outfit is overly restrictive, or blocks your view of the road, you would be in breach of rule ​97 of the Highway Code, which states​ you must ensure clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner. This could see you landed with a £1,000 fine and ​three penalty points, or even a ​discretionary disqualification in some instances.

It’s best to ensure your costumes aren’t restrictive before setting off to drive to your Halloween party.  

2. Avoid wearing a mask or contacts that cover your eyes

Highway code:​ 94
Penalty:​ £1,000 fine or discretionary qualification +​ 3 penalty points

Whether you’re dressing up as Scream with a scary mask, turning into Elton John with tinted glasses, or simply just trying out some coloured contact lenses, make sure to avoid wearing these while behind the wheel.

Rule ​94 of the Highway Code states that ​drivers shouldn’t use tinted glasses, lenses, or visors at night if they restrict your vision as this can ​​impact your control of the vehicle and your view of the road and traffic ahead.

If you’re found to be breaking this rule, you could face a​​ £1,000 fine and ​three penalty points, or a ​discretionary disqualification.

​3. Make sure car decorations don’t impact views of the road

Rule: ​Regulation 30 of the Road Vehicles Regulations 1986 
Penalty: ​​£1,000 fine or discretionary disqualification + ​​3 penalty points 

You might be tempted to deck your car out to look like it’s out of a scary movie this Halloween, but doing so could actually incur a significant fine.

​​If your decorations obscure your view or distract you from driving, you could be in violation of ​​regulation 30 of the Road Vehicles Regulations 1986, which would see you landed with a ​​fine of up to £1,000 and ​three penalty points.

By all means give your car a Halloween make-over, but ​make sure the windows are kept completely free from any obstruction, and don’t hang anything on the inside of the car that could swing and block your view of the road

4. Don't drive with frosted or foggy windows  

Highway code: ​​229 
Penalty: ​​£2,500 fine + ​​3 penalty points  
 
Even though frost and fog might add to the spooky feeling of the season, if you ​​fail to clear frost or fog from your car windows before setting off, you could be in breach of rule ​229 of the Highway Code.  
 
The law states that ​drivers must be able to see the road ahead at all times, and if you are deemed to be ​driving the car in a dangerous condition, motorists could face a​ £2,500 fine, and ​three penalty points.  

5. ​​Don’t blast loud music on your way to a party

Highway code: ​​148 
Penalty: ​​Unlimited fine + ​up to 9 penalty points  
 
From Monster Mash to Thriller, there are plenty of great Halloween-themed songs, but blasting these too loudly in the run up to 31st October could see you facing significant consequences.  
 
​​Driving with excessively loud music breaks rule ​148 of the Highway Code as it is seen as ​careless or inconsiderate driving. This could lead to an ​​unlimited fine and ​​up to nine penalty points.  

6. Be careful not to splash trick-or-treaters in rainy weather  

Rule: ​Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 
Penalty:​ £100 fine + ​3 penalty points  

​​​Autumn is a notoriously wet season, which means drivers need to be extra cautious to avoid ​splashing pedestrians. Under ​Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, this is classed as ​​driving "without reasonable consideration for other persons,” and it could lead to a ​fine of £100 and three penalty points.  

Halloween in particular sees a lot of pedestrians on the roads after dark, so make sure to keep an eye out for any oncoming puddles and avoid driving too quickly through wet weather.  

7.​ Don’t leave your engine running when trick-or-treating

Highway code: ​​123 
Penalty: ​​up to £80 fine 
 
Lots of families might have a big night of trick-or-treating planned, but be careful to avoid ​​engine idling if you're driving everyone from street to street and getting out to knock. Even if you’ll only be stopped for a couple of minutes, make sure you ​​completely turn the car off to avoid any unwanted fines. 
 
Rule ​124 of the Highway Code says y​ou must not leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running, or leave an engine running unnecessarily if the vehicle is stationary. The ​fine for this in most cases is £20, but some councils may increase this to £80 at their discretion.  

8. ​Keep pets comfy and secure 

Highway code: ​​57 
Penalty: ​Unlimited fine or discretionary disqualification + ​​up to nine penalty points

While your pet might look adorable in a witches hat or ghost outfit, if you plan on driving them anywhere this Halloween it’s probably best to wait to dress them up until you reach your destination.

Under Highway Code ​​57, ​​owners must make sure their pet is suitably restrained and not able to distract them from driving. Bear in mind that a pet in costume might be a little more agitated than usual, therefore more likely to cause distraction, and it might be harder to secure them with a seat belt harness or within a carrier.  

Breaching this rule is considered to be ​careless and inconsiderate driving, and could result in ​​an unlimited fine or a discretionary disqualification, and ​​up to nine penalty points.  

Author image Julie Daniels

What our expert says...

"When heading to your Halloween party this spooky season, make sure you’re fully aware of the rules of the road to ensure you keep yourself, and others, safe.

Staying up to date with the latest version of the Highway Code is also the best way to avoid fines and penalties while driving. Even having just a few penalty points on your licence could cause issues for you, as they stay ​​on your record for at least four years and make it more difficult to get good car insurance deals.” 

- Julie Daniels, Car insurance expert

Methodology and Sources 

Fine and penalty data was sourced from the UK Highway Code.