MOTORISTS have been warned they could face a £50 fine for a common driving mistake made in winter.

As drivers prepare for the first of the cold winter weather coming over the next few days, a leading driving expert has warned they must be careful what lights they switch on.

With forecasters predicting temperatures could drop to as low as -8C in some parts of the UK, as well as the potential for snow across large parts of the country, reaching for the fog light dial could cause more harm than good. 

Fog lights are recommended when visibility is poor as they are more effective in cutting through poor lighting conditions than headlights. 

However, because of their position and different beam spread, fog lights are more likely to dazzle oncoming motorists if left on when conditions improve. 

Dan Jones, operations manager at, has warned that unless drivers remember to switch their fog lights off when the weather improves, they could be slapped with a fine: “Sometimes it is easy to forget you have put your fog lights on as you can’t see them while driving in lighter conditions. 

“Failing to do so could mean that not only could you dazzle an oncoming driver and cause an accident, you could also be hit with a £50 fine due to breaking The Highway Code.”

Indeed, according to the Highway Code, rule 226, drivers “may use front or rear fog lights [if visibility is reduced by more than 100 metres] but must switch them off when visibility improves.”

Dan added: “Last year, nearly 6,000 collisions caused were because a driver’s vision was affected by external factors which could include dazzling lights, so it is important to be alert to the conditions when they improve.

“Fog lights are generally switched on manually by the driver. With more cars now featuring automated systems, it is quite easy to forget they’re on, or even think they’ve turned off naturally when conditions improve.”