Driving With Kids - Fines and Driving Laws You Need To Know!
When it comes to driving with children in the car, most drivers are extra cautious and keep an eye out for any potential dangers on the road.
However, parents may be breaking rules they hadn’t thought of - purely by driving their kids around.
There is never a good time to be pulled over, but driving with children in your car without following the proper laws and guidelines could result in parents being hit with a hefty fine on a family day out.
The Laws You Might Not Know About
Using a Tablet To Play Children’s Shows 📺
When it comes to trying to occupy a bunch of rowdy children in the back of your car on a long drive, it can seem almost impossible to calm them down once chaos ensues.
Particularly on long journeys, it's not unusual for parents to give their children a tablet, phone, or similar device to watch during their journey.
Whether they are watching their favourite episode of Peppa Pig or a Superhero Marvel movie, this could land you in some trouble.
If the driver so much as turns to adjust the screen or help the child, it's comparable to using a handheld mobile device that impedes proper control of the vehicle.
Whether you are on the move, stopped at traffic lights, or queuing in traffic the law still applies.
Drivers found to be breaking this can face a whopping 6 points on their licence and a £200 fine.
If this is escalated, the driver can get the maximum fine of £1,000, which is a steep price to pay for a quick episode of their favourite cartoon!
Car Seats 🚗
During the school holidays, it’s almost guaranteed that most parents become glorified cab drivers, taking their children and their friends to various attractions across the UK.
But what are some car seat regulations parents may be breaking without realising?
Any child under the age of 3 must be in the correct car seat unless in a licensed cab, even if you feel like your family car is a taxi most of the time!
Young children are notorious for moving and roaming about at the best of times, so ensure they are strapped in correctly and safely before your journey.
This will help avoid a hefty £500 fine if you are found to be breaking any car seat regulations whilst driving with children.
Listening To Children’s Music Too Loudly 🎶
This one may have never crossed your mind, as road trips with the children can be a lot of fun, and can help create sing-a-long memories for all.
Whether you are blasting musical theatre tunes, some chart pop hits, or your children’s favourite theme songs, Rule 148 of the Highway Code states that you should avoid any distractions from driving, including listening to excessively loud music.
Whilst carpool karaoke is a must on many of our road trips, ensure you are keeping the volume down enough that it won't be a distraction to avoid a fine of up to £5,000!
Child Locks 🔒
When we have children, usually every aspect of our lives becomes child-locked or childproof in one way or another.
Be it cupboards, doors or stair gates, your children will usually always try to get into the smallest nooks and crannies or escape for a fun adventure the minute they get the chance.
If a door was to open mid-drive caused by some little fingers fiddling with the car door latch, it could cause careless and reckless driving, resulting in a fine of up to £5,000 and the loss of your licence in a more serious event.
Ensuring your car is suitably child-locked will make sure those little fingers can fiddle with handles all they wish without the risk of opening a door.
Tips For Driving With Kids
Car-Friendly Entertainment 🖍️
Children are most likely to stay calm, especially on long drives when they have something to do.
There is nothing worse than bored and frustrated children when you are confined to a small space for long periods!
Basic equipment such as paper and colouring pencils, a doll, action figure, or small toys will keep them occupied when you as the driver need as few distractions as possible on the road.
Car games are also a great way to keep your child engaged and pass the time quickly for them.
Telling stories, singing songs or perhaps counting how many red/blue/green cars you can see on the road will ensure you can still concentrate on the road, while keeping children engaged.
Hungry kids are usually difficult kids. And there is nothing worse than trying to concentrate on a drive with children shouting for food in your ear.
Whilst on a drive with children, it is not only important to be prepared with some car snacks for when they get hungry, but also plan for mealtime breaks and stops off for any provisions or emergency snacks along the way.
Pieces of fruit, a chocolate bar, some crisps or crackers are always a winner on long drives!
Stop Regularly 🛑
Planning any journey is a big part of driving with children, and you need to make sure you are factoring in any stops you feel you will need along the way, especially on longer drives.
Children need to run around and burn off any pent-up energy every few hours, so ensure stops are integrated into your journey plan.
Stops might even encourage some parents to embrace their inner child and run around to release any tension built up during a long drive!
Leave Room Next To Your Child 🧑🤝🧑
It is important to ensure your child or children are comfortable when in the car.
No one wants to embark on a long journey half buried by things, child or adult! If the car is overloaded with multiple children sat so close together, or with items piled up next to them on the seats, it can be both a distraction and an annoyance.road
Take note of how many children you can safely fit in your vehicle, whilst allowing space between each seat.
So next time you're off on a road trip with your children, make sure you go prepared by following our top tips and avoid ruining your trip by getting caught out!