Motorists have been warned that wearing sunglasses while you are driving could land you with a fine of up to £2,500.
As the weather hopefully brightens up during summer, drivers will be searching for the perfect shades to help their vision of the road when they’re behind the wheel.
But deciding which sunglasses to wear is a tricky subject as you can be penalised for the type you wear – and also if you choose to not wear them at all.
It’s not a legal requirement to wear sunglasses in bright conditions, but you could still be considered by police to be ‘driving without due care and attention’ due to Rule 237 of the Highway Code.
The ‘Hot Weather’ section of this law states that drivers need to slow down or pull over if they are ‘dazzled by bright sunlight’ – which would indicate that drivers should wear glasses on a sunny day.
This offence would lead to an on the spot fine of £100 and potentially three points on your licence. Drivers who challenge this in court and lose could see this increased to £2,500.
The AA have cited glare as being one of the main causes of road traffic accidents and state that ‘the right pair of sunglasses can prevent it.’
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Two essential requirements for lenses in driving are that your vision must remain clear and there must be sufficient light to let you see properly must get to your eyes.
And the motoring association warned that this means that you could still be breaking the Highway Code even if you’re wearing sunglasses.
Their advice states: “Sunglasses sold for general use can be too dark for driving in. Plus, fashion frames could obscure your peripheral vision if they aren’t the right style, so it’s best to choose your shades carefully.
The AA state that the sun lenses which are suitable for driving fall into 2 main categories: ‘fixed’ and ‘variable’ tint.
A fixed tint ‘stays at the same darkness no matter how sunny or dark it is’ and a variable tint lense ‘changes their tint density when exposed to certain kinds of light.
All sunglasses should carry the CE mark and meet the European Standard BS EN 1836:2005. The CE mark will continue to be recognised in the UK until 30th June 2023.
The AA’s top tip for choosing sunglasses to wear while driving
– Have a thorough eye examination every two years to find out if you need prescription lenses in your sunglasses
– Discuss the options for sun and glare protection with your optician
– Consider a specialist driving lens or tint
– Be aware that your everyday sunglasses might not be suitable for driving. Always keep a spare pair of driving sunglasses in the car.
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