Royal fans run the risk of fines of £2,500, a trip to court and possible driving bans if they are too enthusiastic decorating their cars to celebrate this weekend’s coronation.
As King Charles III is anointed in a solemn ceremony in Westminster Abbey on Saturday, searches on Google for ‘coronation decorations’ have increased by 313 per cent over the past three months.
Patriotic Britons are seeking to decorate their homes and gardens with bunting, flags and royal memorabilia ahead of the big weekend.
But those seeking to decorate their cars have been warned that strict road traffic regulations could see drivers facing a trip to their local magistrate court for breaking the law.
According to the motoring experts at Scrap Car Comparison, improperly mounted decorations could breach Rule 30 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) regulations 1986 which state that a driver must ‘have a full view of the road and traffic ahead of the motor vehicle’.
Royal fans who excessively decorate their cars face prosecution if the vehicle represents a danger to other road users following the modifications
Motorists planning to decorate their cars with Royal memorabilia have been warned they face prosecution if the items block the view from their windscreens or represent a danger to pedestrians or other road users
This means that items mounted to the dashboard, or windscreen could result in a £100-on-the-spot fine, or even a £1,000 fine if taken to court. Motorists also risk a three-point endorsement on their licence which could lead to increased insurance premiums.
Anything blocking the swept area of the windscreen from 290mm above the centre line of steering wheel can result in prosecution. This not only includes royal memorabilia, but items such as dash cams, mobile phone holders and sat nav devices. Such obstructions are only allowed to cover a maximum of 10mm of the area covered by the windscreen wipers.
Worse still, items mounted outside the vehicle which fall off into the path of other vehicles could result in a prosecution for driving without due consideration – which has a £100-on-the-spot fine and three penalty points, increasing to a £2,500 fine and disqualification in the most serious cases.
Motorists could also face issues with their car insurance cover as the protection could be withdrawn if they are not informed of any modifications. Modifying a car can result in additional risks which the insurance company will want to evaluate. Not advising an insurer ahead of any planned modification – even if it is temporary – could result in the policy’s cancellation.
David Kottaun, operation manager at Scrap Car Comparison said motorists need to be careful that their patriotic displays do not lead to legal problems.
He said: ‘Don’t place decorations near the front or rear of the vehicle – the main thing is to ensure that you have a clear view of the road and other vehicles at all times while on the road, so make sure your decorations aren’t restricting your sight from the front or rear of the vehicle, or other key positions.
Motorists have been told they must notify their insurance company of any modifications before driving as it could cause their policies to be cancelled – leaving them without cover and at risk of prosecution
King Charles III, pictured leaving Windsor for London, will crowned at Westminster Abbey on Saturday. Motorists have been advised to temper their enthusiasm as decorating their cars could leave them at risk of prosecution
‘Fasten decorations securely – before heading off, double check that your decorations are fastened on securely and aren’t likely to drop off while moving.’
Mr Kottaun also warned large decorations are more likely to lead to problems and stressed the need to inform insurance companies of anything that could be classed as a ‘modification’.
He also said placing a mascot, emblem or object where it is ‘likely to strike any person with whom the vehicle may collide’ can result in a fine or prosecution.
Mr Kottaun continued: ‘We by no means want people to miss out on any fun, or for people to not get into the spirit, but as we’ve seen over the years with the likes of football tournaments, and more recently with the Platinum Jubilee, there can be some risks when it comes to giving your car the royal treatment.
‘Getting landed with a fine, penalty points or having your insurance get invalidated due to mismanaged decorations is a sure-fire way to sour the festivities, so we hope that road users take care with whatever they have planned. That way, everyone can enjoy the fun over the bank holiday weekend, with no costly hiccups’.