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Why Driving Without Sunglasses Could Cost You A £2,500 Fine

Thu, Apr 19, 2018 8:31 PM

Whilst the British summer looks to have arrived early, the bright sunshine is causing a different type of problem on the roads to last month’s wintery weather, and drivers are being warned that inappropriate eyewear might see them punished.

The use of sunglasses is a contentious issue for drivers, but the Highway Code is clear on what is required, especially in bright sunshine. Though it’s not a legal requirement to wear sunglasses in sunny weather, you could still be adjudged to be ‘driving without due care and attention’ if a police officer believes that the driver has taken their eyes off the road due to the sun.

The key to the ruling relies on the action the driver takes if the sunlight dazzles. Rule 237 of the Highway Code, says that drivers need to slow down or pull over if they are ‘dazzled by bright sunlight’. So in essence, you won’t be cautioned for not wearing sunglasses, but ignoring the Highway Code.

Driving without due care and attention comes with an immediate £100 fine, and the possibility of three points on your licence. But that could be increased to £2,500 if the driver contests the charge in court and subsequently loses.

Bizarrely, drivers could also be punished for putting sunglasses on!

If the sunglasses you wear are deemed to be too dark, they could impair your vision and that in itself would be ‘driving without due care and attention’. It’s a little known law that Filter category 4 lenses are unsuitable for driving at any time.

Sunglasses come in four categories, and are rated by the amount of light they filter out. Category two sunglasses typically transmit 18 to 43 per cent of the light and are fine for daytime driving. Category four glasses however only transmit between 3 and 8 per cent of the light.

Most category four sunglasses will be labelled as ‘not suitable for driving and road use’.

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