As the nights draw in, the International Drivers Association (IDA) is sounding the alarm about a lesser-known rule that could catch many drivers off guard. Rule 248 of the UK Highway Code mandates that vehicles parked on roads with a speed limit exceeding 30mph at nighttime must have their sidelights on. The rule, designed to enhance the visibility of parked cars, is for reducing the risk of collisions on faster roads.

So, why is this rule so vital?

  1. Visibility: On high-speed roads, drivers have less reaction time. A parked car without lights can be almost invisible until it's too late.
  2. Road Safety: The consequences of a collision are more severe at higher speeds. Simple measures like sidelights can significantly reduce risks.
  3. Public Awareness: Many are oblivious to this rule, assuming sidelights are optional. Knowing the rule can save drivers from accidents and penalties.

For those unfamiliar, sidelights, sometimes referred to as parking or running lights, are the small white or amber lights at the front corners of a vehicle. They're dimmer than headlights but bright enough to make a car noticeable in the dark.

Ignoring this rule can have legal and financial repercussions. Fines can reach up to £300, and in certain situations, drivers might even get points on their license. Michael Bissona also highlighted the insurance implications, "Violating any Highway Code rule can impact your car insurance rates."