Debunking Driving Myths: Laws Every Courier Should Know

If you’re someone who works in the courier industry, you’re probably out driving a lot – which means it’s likely you know the lay of the land and the laws of the road like the back of your hand. However, no matter how familiar you are with something, a little revision never hurt anyone. That’s why we’re here to give you a refresher course on what you can and cannot do behind the wheel.

There are a lot of driving myths out there, so many so that it can be tough to distinguish road fact from road fiction… what’s a courier to do? We’ll tell you: read on so you can get the lowdown and stay safe on the roads.

Can You… Eat?

Munching on a snack while behind the wheel isn’t illegal – however, distracted driving is. That means if you’re paying more attention to your meal than you are to the road, the police could pull you over and write you up for careless driving (the penalty is three points and a fine of £100).

If you’re going through a drive-thru to pick up some fast food, make sure you’re paying by cash or card. You can potentially get fined if you use your mobile phone to pay while your engine is still running.

Can You… Use a Sat Nav?

The short answer is yes (don’t worry, you can still Google Map your way to your courier deliveries). However, your sat nav – whether you’re using an app on your phone or a separate device – must be set in a fixed position on either your dashboard or your windscreen, and your view of the road should be uninterrupted.

If you’re using your mobile, make sure that you do not touch it while driving – interfering with your phone could earn you a £200 fine and six penalty points.

Can You… Make a Phone Call?

Have you got a hands-free system? Then yes! However, you’ll have to program your device so that you won’t need to touch it to take calls. Interacting with your phone in any way – even just to answer it – is a punishable offence. You should also bear in mind that even if you follow these rules to a T, the authorities can pull you over if they think you are being distracted by your mobile… so it’s really best to only use it for emergencies.

Can You… Use Headphones?

There are no specific laws against using headphones while you drive, however it’s something that is unadvisable even if it is technically legal. It can be unsafe not only to yourself but to others, as you may not be able to hear your fellow road users, level crossing warnings or emergency vehicle sirens; you could get charged with dangerous driving because of this. Our advice? Stick to the radio instead.

Whether you learned something new or already had these rules down pat, keep them in mind for all of your future courier work and it’ll be nothing but clear skies (and roads) ahead.

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the express freight exchange industry. Numerous transport exchange businesses are networked together on their website, trading jobs and capacity through what is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange company in the UK.

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