Motorists are being urged to take a simple precaution to ensure that they aren’t hit with a £1,000 fine during the current bad weather.
Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist has issued a warning for drivers who are putting off cleaning their cars that a dirty number plate could cost them dearly.
With the bad weather and treated roads it’s easy for cars to get dirtier than usual in winter months. While there’s nothing illegal in having a dirty car, it is against the law to have a number plate that can’t easily be read and the fine is up to £1,000.
GEM road safety officer Neil Worth says having a clear, legible number plate is vital. “A number plate must be readable and not covered by dirt,” he explains. “This is to ensure a vehicle can be identified as and when required.
“At this time of year it’s easy for a number plate to get so dirty that it cannot be read. This is usually caused by muck on damp road surfaces that ends up on the rear of a car.
“Although there is no law against having a dirty car, the law is very clear when it comes to keeping your number plates clear; you risk a £1000 fine if you allow it to become obscured.”
To keep within the law you don’t need to keep your entire car clean but, Neil Worth suggests, simply get into the habit of giving your plates a wipe before every journey.
“It makes sense to get into the habit of giving your number plate a regular wipe – every day when conditions require. Do the same for your front and rear lights, and you will be doing your bit for safety during this risky time of year,” he added.