Driving habits that can cost you money and points!

Emma Swain from Motorworld in Las Chafiras

Whether you have been driving for years, are an occasional, or new driver, you will no doubt have picked up some bad driving habits. Of course, we all have bad habits in all parts of our lives but some driving habits can be very costly - not only with fines but with regard to the points system too. Some habits are serious and hard to break and often you don't even realise that your bad habit is wrong because you have done it for so long without any consequences! We are going to point out some of the most common ones that no doubt all readers will recognise!

Indicating your intentions

This is one I am sure everyone will recognise. When you are approaching a junction or passing through one and do not indicate your intentions, beware, because if you are caught, and there are many more camera cars and unmarked police vehicles around nowadays, you could incur a fine of €200. The reason for indicators is quite obvious to most people. They are there to be used to let other road users know what we are intending to do. When you fail to use your indicators we are potentially posing a risk not only to ourselves but to other road users who are unaware of our intentions. We have all played the guess which way I'm going game, some sadly with costly consequences. The best thing to do is ALWAYS use your indicators, even if other drivers around you do not.

Not respecting the Priority of Pedestrians

If you fail to respect the priority of a pedestrian you are again running the risk of a fine of €200 and potentially having 4 points recorded on your Licence. This however depends on the potential risk to those involved. It is very interesting to note that, in the eyes of the law, pedestrians take preference over drivers. Something that will I am sure come as a surprise to many drivers. Pedestrians are apparently the most vulnerable of all road users, and, in the event of an accident or incident it will almost always be the pedestrian which will come off worst, as they will have no protection - hence the need for this law.

Failure to allow an overtaking vehicle to return to their lane

Driving very close behind a vehicle and/or not allowing sufficient safety gaps can result in a fine and loss of points if caught. We are all too aware that many drivers provide safety gaps for such circumstances, only to find another driver pulling in front of them and closing any safety gap that had been allowed. Again, this carries a fine of €200 and a loss of four points from your licence. The reasoning behind this is that overtaking is considered one of the most dangerous manoeuvres any vehicle can carry out (other than perhaps sharp emergency stops).

When we move into the path of oncoming vehicles and a collision occurs, depending on the speed being travelled by both vehicles, for example should it be in a 50 kilometres per hour road and both were travelling in opposite directions at that speed the overall impact would be the same as hitting a solid object like a brick wall at 100 kilometres per hour! Ouch! We have all seen these types of accidents and sadly they appear to be happening more frequently, often due to the lack of care of one, or both drivers or sheer recklessness.

It is therefore imperative that when overtaking you consider the speed you are travelling at and that of any oncoming traffic and that you make this manoeuvre in the shortest possible time. We can see quite clearly that preventing an overtaking vehicle from returning to the right side of the road can put many lives at risk, however many drivers do just that and block a vehicle from returning to the right side of the road, one wonders why?

Unnecessary Lane Changing

Changing lanes without respecting a vehicle that is already in that lane also carries a fine of €200. Zigzagging between lanes (seen quite often here in Tenerife) will result in a fine of, again €200 but may be considered as reckless driving, which would incur a fine of €500 and a loss of 6 points from one's Licence.

In normal circumstances traffic will run smoothly until such time as a road becomes congested or when an accident has occurred. We all know that constantly changing lanes impedes the flow of traffic, causes delays and of course can be dangerous depending on the situation. When you cause another vehicle to deviate from its normal course, speed or direction, it means that YOU have become a hazard to other road users, which in itself is a potential danger.

We are all so often in a rush to get from A to B, but it really is better to arrive a little late than potentially not at all. Be patient, Tenerife drivers!

BE WARNED! Failure to observe the following could cost you a FINE, and/or a LOSS OF POINTS on your Driver's Licence!

  • Indicating your intentions
  • Not respecting the Priority of Pedestrians
  • Failure to allow an overtaking vehicle to return to their lane
  • Unnecessary Lane Changing