Showing Off

Fancy a £150 fine and a long walk home? The police have the power to seize your vehicle if, after receiving a warning, you drive of the ride carelessly or without reasonable consideration for other road users, and in a manner which causes alarm, distress or annoyance. 

Peacocking – The Honest Truth about showing off in a vehicle

Learning to drive and getting your first vehicle is awesome. That can go to some people’s heads and it can be tempting to show off which can include:

  • A lot of noise and loud music in the vehicle
  • ‘road rage’ or intimidating other road users
  • Speeding
  • Racing

These things increase the risk of a vehicle being involved in a collision.

What can you do to be a good driver?

  • Don’t get drawn into peer pressure. It’s easier said than done, but if your friends want you to show off and put yourself, your licence and their safety at risk, are you ok with that?
  • Think about how you might react if your passengers start trying to get you to show off. How could you handle that?
  • Remind your friends that good, skilled drivers look after themselves, their passengers, their vehicles and other road users. Risking a licence and doing things to hurt other people or risk their lives makes someone a bad driver.
  • Don’t allow monkeys in your car. If your passengers are going to act like chimps and show off then they’re placing you, themselves and other people at risk. They’re also risking your licence. Make the rules of your car known up front. You’re the boss.

What’s the law?

  • ‘Showing off’ in itself isn’t against the law, but someone could be committing offences as a result of behaving that way.
  • If you are showing off and you speed for example, you would be committing an offence.

What’s the punishment?

  • After giving a warning, the police have the power to seize a vehicle from someone who is driving carelessly, without reasonable consideration for other road users or in an annoying or upsetting way. An example of this might be performing screeching handbrake turns or ‘doughnuts’.
  • A vehicle can also be seized if someone drives without permission on common land, moorland or land not forming part of a road. This includes any part of a road which is a footpath or bridleway.
  • A police warning is valid for 12 months and applies to the person and the vehicle. If someone is caught driving in that way again their vehicle can be seized without any further warning.
  • As well as having to pay for the recovery charge of at least £150, this is all also likely to increase an insurance premium.