We all know that driving a car is a big responsibility. The skills and knowledge you learn during your L-plate days are not just intended to get you through the test—they’re lessons for life. The hard truth is that bad driving can (and, sadly, frequently does) have fatal consequences.
Before delving into some stories of serious and shocking driving offences, we want to emphasise that respecting the rules of the road is incredibly important. It’s about protecting you, the ones you love, and everyone else out there. In saying that, we like to think of this as a reasonably light-hearted blog. We don’t want to be all doom and gloom!
So, in this article we’re going to reveal some terrible driving offences that, somehow, didn’t result in anyone suffering serious injuries. Just plenty of embarrassment and, in some cases, hefty legal consequences. Let them serve as a reminder that cars are very powerful machines—you must stay in control of them and take driving seriously.
Now for some people who didn’t heed that advice…
A truly epic fail
First up on our list is not technically a driving offence, but probably the closest you can get to one before you’re actually a licensed driver…
You know when we say that, if you think you’ve failed the driving test, the best thing to do is push on through to the end? Well, it turns out that there are some occasions where you should probably just call it a day. Case in point: the student who drove her car into the actual test centre. Yes, this has to be seen to be believed. Luckily, the police brought a camera with them:
How does one find themselves in this situation? The 17-year-old learner driver from Minnesota accidentally put the car in drive instead of reverse (showing automatic isn’t always easier!), causing the vehicle to lurch forward when she hit the accelerator and smash into the test centre. It also resulted in the examiner being taken to hospital. Luckily, everyone escaped the ordeal with only minor injuries. We imagine the student’s ego also took quite a beating. Ouch.
Driving while using a mobile phone is a crime, unless you are using it hands-free. At no point should you actually touch the device. The rules are so strict because driving and mobile phone use is linked to a huge number of road accidents. If you have any doubts about the rules, fill yourself in with our article on using your phone in the car.
Considering driving and using one phone is bad enough, the fact that this driver had the audacity to sit in his car with a phone in each hand beggars belief:
Whatever this driver had going on must have been super important – phone in each hand! 📱+📱=😳
— RPU – Surrey Police (@SurreyRoadCops) 9 August 2017
Not only will he barely have his eyes on the road—he doesn’t have a spare hand to hold the steering wheel! Thankfully, local police pulled him over before he had a chance to cause some serious harm to other road users.
Man drives car on wrong side of motorway for 8 miles
If you were to compile a list of the most dangerous things you can do in a car, this would be fairly close to the top. In July of this year, a man was reported by multiple people to be driving down the wrong side of the motorway (thus, in the direction of oncoming traffic) in Cheshire.
Video source: Metro
As you can see in the video above, cars and lorries desperately flash their lights to alert the driver to his wildly dangerous behaviour. Despite their warnings, he continued on for 8 miles. It’s miraculous that he did not get into an accident.
Driving on the wrong side of any kind of road carries with it a serious risk, but on a motorway the dangers are even more extreme. The high speed at which all vehicles are travelling on these carriageways means collisions are much more likely to be fatal.
The man in question was arrested by North West Motorway Police and charged with dangerous driving and driving without insurance.
Mother lets toddler take the wheel on freeway
Some people are smart enough to film their driving offences and put them on social media. This includes the woman from Toronto who thought it would be hilarious to drive onto the freeway with her 3-year-old child on her lap. Once there, she let her daughter take the wheel while she filmed it on her phone.The two also weren’t wearing seatbelts, but that doesn’t really come as a surprise at this point in the story—this woman doesn’t seem super invested in staying alive. We’ve almost lost count of the driving offences she’s racking up.
Police were able to stop and arrest the woman before anyone got hurt. She was also reported to child services. We’re not going to include the footage because we don’t want to glorify or encourage this ridiculously dangerous behaviour. Also we don’t have it.
Back to basics
When police in Norfolk pulled over a Peugeot 206, what they found inside gave them quite a shock. In lieu of a seat or steering wheel, the driver was perched on a bucket and using a pair of pliers to steer. Just in case you can’t quite visualise it, the authorities were nice enough to provide pictures:
Yes this was driven on a road and yes he was sitting on a bucket and steering with a pair of mole grips. Driver will be reported for too many offences to mention! #KingsLynn #WestARV @RPFOUSgt #Unbelievable #1383/652 pic.twitter.com/2Sg8uYhtSt
— NS Roads Policing & Firearms Unit (@NSRoadsPolicing) July 13, 2018
We can’t lie, a small part of us is kind of impressed that he got this thing moving. Mostly, however, we’re blown away by how dangerous it was to drive it in public. Around other people and drivers of regular, fully-equipped vehicles that would actually pass an MOT.
The car wasn’t just missing the wheel and front seat, either. According to one article:
“Police said the car also had no front wing, bumper or headlights and had part of the front bonnet missing and a flat tyre.”
We’re going to go out on a limb and assume it also wasn’t fitted with airbags, seat belts, or anything that might save your life in the event of a crash. Driving around in odds and ends from the scrapheap is not a big or clever way to get from point A to B. The perpetrator is probably aware of this now that he’s facing multiple charges. As for the “vehicle”? It was seized by police. We’ll sleep a little better tonight knowing it’s not on the road!
Couldn’t wait until she got home
We all have a favourite show on the telly that we just can’t bear to miss. That is not an excuse, however, to catch up on TV programmes while driving home from the office. A man from Essex caught another driver doing exactly that on the A127. Yes, a woman in the next lane to him was watching Masterchef from the driver’s seat. She was pretty brazen about it too—having attached her iPad to the dashboard for optimum viewing pleasure.
Here’s the moment she was caught in the act (be warned—the video includes offensive language from the start):
Video source: Metro/Luke Page
You may have noticed that this story involves a bit of a pot-kettle-black scenario. The man catching the woman in the act is using his phone to document the incident—also a crime. Nevertheless, the woman’s brazen disregard for the safety of herself and others probably takes the biscuit. We could also squeeze in a dig here about how enjoying Masterchef is a punishable offence, but we won’t. Oh wait…
Moral of this story? Sure, traffic jams can be boring, frustrating and looong, but that doesn’t mean the rules of the road go out of the window. We don’t care if you’re great at multitasking—turn off any devices and focus on the road. Finding out who served up the best soufflé is not worth a stint in jail or another person’s life.
Take the hint
If we were handing out awards for quantity of offences, Thomas Feely of Leeds would probably scoop the lot. The 50-year-old has racked up a shocking 110 offences and has been banned from driving 59 times in 28 years. This startling record has earned him the reputation of being Britain’s worst driver, with magistrates on the latest case claiming they’d never seen anything like it.
One of our favourite take-aways from this unbelievable story is that Feely makes his living as a mobile DJ. Sorry, mate—definitely time to give up the day job. Catching him flaunting his various bans wasn’t too hard either, as Feely lives just just metres away from the police station. Not ideal if you plan to frequently break the law. When it became clear that Feely was not deterred by the numerous driving bans imposed on him, he was sentenced to 5 months in prison.
Not all there
Do you ever get that feeling when you’re driving that something just isn’t quite right? Maybe the engine is making a funny noise, or the car feels like it’s pulling slightly to one side. In these cases, it’s always worth safely parking up and having a good check over your entire vehicle.
Not everyone is so attuned to how their car should feel on the road. Take the woman who drove 16 miles before realising that she was missing a tyre. You can see her in action here:
Video source: Metro
Note to self: if you hear a god awful screeching sound whenever the car is in motion, it’s probably best to check that each wheel is fitted with a tyre.
We’re only making light of this situation because, thankfully, no one was harmed during her 16 mile escapade. Things could have ended a lot differently. It goes without saying that your car must be fit for the road if you plan to drive it.
A broken tail light or dodgy tyre might not seem like a big deal, but it can completely change how you are able to control the car and how others predict your movements. Both of these factors are vital to road safety. So, next time you hop in the car, make sure everything’s in top nick before you set off!
What about you?
It’s pretty worrying to know you’re sharing the road with some very inconsiderate (and sometimes downright nutty) people, isn’t it? The best thing you can do to protect yourself is make sure that you follow the rules and keep your eyes and ears on the road at all times. There’s a reason hazard perception is included in the theory test—it gives you time to adjust your behaviour according to what’s happening around you, including bad driving. If you want to go a step further, it might also be worth getting to grips with defensive driving so you can safely take on Britain’s most dangerous roads and beyond. And if you’re not sure which areas you need to improve on, a black box insurance policy might be the perfect solution.
For all the latest driving news and tips, be sure to keep checking in with the PassMeFast blog. Until then—happy (and safe) driving!