Drivers could be fined £5,000 and charged for dangerous driving by installing a bike rack

UK mobile phone driving laws explained by the RAC

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Many motorists could be caught out by the simple rule when heading away for days out or holidays, leaving many caught out and facing fines. Experts warn it was the drivers “responsibility” to ensure their roof rack was safe on the road.

This included whether the weight of the rack is suitable for the vehicles and is safely fastened.

Experts also warn drivers’ view of the road should also not be “obstructed” by the roof rack in any way.

Joel Kempson, spokesperson at USwitch said a roof rack should not impact any road users.

He has also urged road users to make sure they check their existing policy to ensure they are covered.

If drivers are not, Mr Kempson urges road users should secure “supplementary insurance” ahead of any trips.

He said: “Using roof boxes and bike racks are a great way of transporting heavy loads.

“We just need to make sure drivers are aware of the laws and safety concerns around using them.

“It is your responsibility to ensure the weight of your rack is suitable for your vehicle, and that what you are transporting is securely fastened in.

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“The rack should not hinder you while driving, so make sure your vision is not obstructed in any way and everything is secured.

“It is also important not to impact other drivers around you, so make sure nothing is sticking out in a dangerous manner.

“We recommend you take out supplementary insurance if you are not already covered by your existing policy.”

The AA says rood racks are great ways of carrying large or awkward items when heading on journeys.

However, they also warn road users must stay within the pre-determined roof load at all times to avoid being caught out.

They warn this limit “may be lower than you think” with experts urging road users to check their handbook.

Specialists said it’s generally better to carry bulky but light things on the roads and then put heavy items inside the car.

Eban Lovatt, CEO of MoneyShake, has previously warned drivers could be fined if their bike racks or bicycles block drivers’ number plates.

Motorists are also likely to be questioned if the bikes cover the vehicle’s brake lights.

He said: “Bike sales surged in lockdown, so we can expect more and more cyclists to take advantage of the hot weather.

“But if you are considering loading your bike or your family’s bikes onto the back of your car, make sure it doesn’t cover your licence plate – or you risk being pulled over by police and a £1,000 fine.

“Those with rear-mounted bike racks should invest in a lighting board for their car.

“This allows you to travel safely with your bike, without illegally obscuring your licence plate and lights.”

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