Defrosting your vehicle incorrectly could leave you with a £60 fine
We’ve all seen those annoying drivers on a cold winter’s morning – scraping just enough ice from their screen to give them a ‘porthole’ for vision, but what you may not know is that anyone caught driving like that could face a £60 fine and three penalty points.
In fact, as winter rolls around again, it’s worth knowing that there are a few situations that could see you in hot water if you’re not aware of them – the act of ‘portholing’ is just one of them.
With police forces actively clamping down on drivers with poor vision, it was only a matter of time before the net widened to try and catch drivers that are too lazy to clear their windscreen properly before setting off.
Whilst a £60 fine and three penalty points may seem harsh for failing to clear the screen, the reality is that there’s no real difference between that and driving with poor eyesight, which carries a much stiffer penalty, it could possibly be argued that failing to clear a screen should carry a harsher penalty still.
While ‘portholing’ is a very defined term, what isn’t clear is just what that constitutes – how much of the screen should be clear? Common sense tells us that any significant obstruction to our view is dangerous, and that to take an extra few minutes to finish clearing the screen and windows is the sensible choice, but does the screen need clearing completely, or just the majority?
The Highway Code is very clear:
You must be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows
You must ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible
Make sure that the mirrors are clear and the windows are demisted thoroughly
Remove all snow that might fall into the path of other road users
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