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Coronavirus and Driving

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DRIVING fines and penalty points could be issued to motorists who drive whilst displaying symptoms of COVID 19 or fail to adhere to Government guidelines issued on when to travel for essential journeys. 

Suffering from symptoms of the Coronavirus could cause motorists to lose the same level of concentration as using a mobile phone whilst driving. This in turn could cause drivers to commit a motoring offence of Careless or Dangerous Driving. Research undertaken by Cardiff University’s Common Cold Unit, found motorists suffered a decrease in driving ability and concentration levels when driving whilst unwell. For example, drivers can travel over 15 metres whilst their eyes are closed during a sneeze causing temporary loss of control of their car.

In certain circumstances, Police could consider a prosecution for either Careless or Dangerous Driving provided it is established that your actions could put yourself or other road users at risk. Both these motoring offences carry penalty points and disqualification from driving as a sentencing option in the event of a successful prosecution.

The AA warns medication taken while feeling unwell could also cause motorists to become drowsy thereby impacting concentration levels when driving. Drivers should always read the guidance issued with medicine or seek specific medical advice before taking medicine to establish if there are any restrictions upon driving.

Under new Coronavirus lockdown measures, you should only leave your house for essential reasons such as visiting the shops for food and medicine or to help the vulnerable. Driving, even without symtoms of COVID 19, should therfeore only be undertaken when absolutely necessary.

Moreover, driving in contravention of Government guidelines for non-essential trips or whilst suffering from Coronavirus symptoms could invalidate your car insurance. The wording of car insurance policy documnetation will prove decisive on this point. Dring without a valid policy of insurance carries a fine, penalty points and a discretionary disqualifiction from driving upon conviction.

Police Officers across the UK have temporary powers to issue fines for those motorists caught travelling for non-essential reasons such as driving to the beach or local beauty spots. Bear in mind the potential that your policy of car insurance might also be invalidated in such circumstances.

The best advice is to drive only when absolutely necessary and in accordance with Government guidelines. Motorists should not drive a motor vehicle when displaying even mild or low level Coronavirus symptoms. Doing so could result in prosecution for a motoring offence and ultimately peanlty points or a driving ban.

Stay safe.