Highway Code: Your car air conditioning could cost you a £5K fine this summer

When the sun is blazing this summer (at least we hope it will be at some point) it is normal for most people to blast the air conditioning for relief from the heat. However, doing so could land you in a spot of bother and cost you up to £5,000 in fines if you’re not careful.

Highway Code Rule 237 says drivers must keep their cars ‘well ventilated’, our sister site BirminghamLive reports. This is in order to avoid drowsiness. If you flout this guidance, and you subsequently lose control of your vehicle, you risk a £5,000 in the most serious circumstances.

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According to the government: “Many of the rules in the Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence. You may be fined, given penalty points on your license or be disqualified from driving. In the most serious cases you may be sent to prison.”

Although the Highway Code alone is not the law, many of its instructions have legal muscle behind them. Road users who ignore the guidelines could be punished with traffic offenses so it is important that you are aware of them.

It comes as the UK heads into May, with the temperatures set to rise this summer and the promise of a heatwave at some stage. The Met Office said it was increasing heatwave temperature thresholds in eight counties before the summer. The change reflected “an undeniable warming trend” for the UK that had made the original thresholds obsolete.

“A scientific study by the Met Office into the summer 2018 heatwave in the UK showed that it was 30 times more likely to occur now than in 1750 because of the higher concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” the Met Office said. “As greenhouse gas concentrations increase, heat waves of similar intensity are projected to become even more frequent, perhaps occurring as regularly as every other year.”

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