Careless turning could indicate a £5,000 fine for drivers

Drivers could put lives at risk and face a fine of up to £5,000 by failing to correctly indicate when turning near pedestrians.

Aside from the most important factor: the safety of pedestrians and other road users, not signalling properly could see motorists rack up to nine points on their licence, or even be disqualified from driving altogether in addition to this fine, if their behaviour is deemed dangerous.

If a pedestrian is killed due to a driver’s failure to indicate, a court could find the motorist guilty of dangerous driving – a charge which carries a maximum punishment of 14 years in prison.

According to the Highway Code, a driver must always: “Warn and inform other road users, including pedestrians, of your intended actions.”

When turning into a side street, if a pedestrian has already started to cross the road drivers should allow them to cross safely as they have the right of way.

Motorists should also be aware of pedestrians who are looking to cross the street, which includes indicating to inform them of their decision to turn.

While failing to indicate is not an offence in itself, it does pose a very serious potential risk to the safety of pedestrians and other road users. Should a failure to indicate correctly lead to a motorist hitting a pedestrian or colliding with another road user, a police officer could hand out an on-the-spot £100 fine.

And if an offence is deemed careless or dangerous driving, it’s possible drivers will face these harsher punishments if the case ends up in court.

Emma Patterson, a UK motoring lawyer at Patterson Law, said drivers should always signal their intentions to other road users, including pedestrians.

“Failing to do so may mean a motorist falls below the threshold of being a careful, competent driver and they could be hit with a ‘driving without due care and attention’ charge, or in rarer circumstances even ‘dangerous driving’.”

She added: “In some ways, an over eagerness to signal can be just as bad as failing to signal.”

Copyright Press Association 2019