Drivers at risk of £2,500 fine and three points for common mistake

By Rachel Hains

When we think of car maintenance and making sure our vehicles are up to scratch to meet the necessary safety requirements, wiper blades are likely the last thing to cross our minds.

However, wiper blades are incredibly important as they keep our windscreens clear so we can drive safely with full visibility.

Just like other parts of your car, failure to replace ineffective, worn out, or faulty wiper blades increases the chances of you being involved in an accident.

According to the UK Government , “all wipers and washers which are required to be fitted must be properly adjusted and maintained in efficient working order.”

What the law says:

National Tyres are urging motorists to check their wipers are in line with law and regulation.

Section 40a of The Road Traffic Act: Using a Vehicle in a Dangerous Condition Part II, states that: “a person is guilty of an offence if he uses, or causes or permits another to use, a motor vehicle or trailer on a road when the condition of the motor vehicle or trailer, or of its accessories or equipment is such that the use of the motor vehicle or trailer involves a danger of injury to any person.”

The Highway Code reports:

Offence

Maximum penalty

Penalty points

Using a vehicle in a dangerous condition

LGV or PCV unlimited, other vehicles £2,500/ Obligatory disqualification if offence committed within 3 years of a previous conviction for a similar offence - 6 months min. Otherwise discretionary

3 in each case

Failure to have proper control of vehicle or full view of the road and traffic ahead

£1,000 fine (£2,500 for PCV or goods vehicle) / Discretionary disqualification

3

Using a vehicle in a dangerous condition or failing to have a full view of the road and traffic can result in a £2,500 minimum fine for passenger-carrying vehicles and three penalty points.

How to test your windscreen wipers:

Windscreen wipers should be replaced at least once a year, however depending on usage, environment, and quality of the wipers, they may need replacing even more regularly. You should consider making a reminder on your calendar or phone to remind you to test your wipers by a certain date to avoid being at risk of a fine.

Furthermore, your car can fail its MOT if your windscreen wipers do not operate or are missing. It can also fail if the wiper blade is defective or does not clean the windscreen properly e.g., leaves streaks or smudges.

Checking your wiper blades before taking your car in for an MOT can save you any extra costs from a new MOT test to labour costs to replace the wiper blades.

Check your wipers are in working condition by:

● Checking your wipers don't leave streaks and smears behind when they remove rain, debris, or dirt. Do you have enough windscreen washer fluid to assist them? Do they need a good clean? If after checking these your wipers still don’t clean your windscreen efficiently, you need to replace them.

● Is the rubber of your wipers cracked or split in any way? If so, you need new ones.

● Are your wipers bouncing off your screen rather than smoothly gliding across the surface of the glass? These will fail to effectively clean your windscreen and would make you liable for a fine.

Michael Bourne, Group Marketing Director of National Tyres commented: “Windscreen wipers are pivotal to safety and being able to see those around you, yet there are so many people unaware of how important it is to keep them in the best possible condition.

The last thing a driver wants is to realise their visibility is compromised by defective windscreen wipers when they’re travelling at speed or when the weather suddenly turns bad.

With winter just around the corner, it's important that motorists are mindful of their own safety and the condition of their vehicle is of paramount importance to other road users.”

For more stories from where you live, visit InYourArea.


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