A change in the rules of the road could result in an unlimited fine for drivers if they are not careful.
The Highway Code was updated this month (September 14) to refer to guidance on smart highways.
A statement from the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency said: “The changes made refer to the smart highway guidelines. A total of 33 existing rules will be amended and two new rules introduced.”
One of these changes is rule 91, in the “fitness to drive” category which includes drivers getting enough sleep and where and when not to stop, depending on whether the driver is getting enough sleep. CambridgeLive.
Here’s everything you need to know about rule 91
What does the updated Rule 91 say?
That’s what the rule says, with updated parts in bold :
“Driving when you are tired greatly increases your risk of a collision. To minimize this risk, make sure you are able to drive.
“Don’t start a trip if you are tired.
“To have sufficient sleep before embarking on a long trip avoid making long journeys between midnight and 6 a.m., when natural alertness is at a minimum, plan your trip to take sufficient breaks.
“A minimum break of at least 15 minutes every two hours of driving is recommended.
“If you are sleepy, pull over in a safe place.
“Do not stop in an emergency zone or on the emergency lane of a motorway. ”
The emergency zone takes into account the new definitions that have been introduced to better define the rules around smart highways.
What are the penalties for falling asleep while driving?
Any accident that occurs as a result of falling asleep at the wheel is generally classified as “dangerous driving,” explains RAC.
Dangerous driving is a traffic violation and a more serious offense than “reckless or reckless driving”.
In addition to behaviors such as aggressive driving and ignoring traffic lights, it also covers “incapacitated driving including injury, inability to see clearly, not taking prescribed medication, or be sleepy . ”
If you are found guilty of dangerous driving, you could be subject to an unlimited fine, a driving ban and up to 14 years in prison, depending on the severity.
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How to stay awake while driving
RAC shares some tips for avoiding drowsy driving. You should also be aware that certain medical conditions that may affect your driving should be reported to the DVLA and your insurer.
- Get enough rest before setting off on a long trip
- Include 15-minute breaks every two hours of driving when planning a trip
- If you start to feel drowsy, find a safe place to stop as soon as possible
- Drink two cups of coffee or other caffeinated beverages and rest to allow the caffeine time to kick in.
- Avoid making long journeys between midnight-6 a.m. and 2 p.m.-4 p.m. when natural alertness is low
- Share the ride if possible
- Avoid eating a big meal before driving – remember this when you stop at a gas station for a bite to eat!