Drivers are being warned about using their fog lights this winter; common misuse of them could land you with a fine.

As the days get darker, and roads may become icy, drivers across the UK will be looking for ways to stay safe on gloomy roads. While many will turn on their fog lights to help other drivers see them, Peter Waddell, motor expert and CEO of, warns this may be a huge error.

The button, marked with a symbol featuring a backwards D with three lines coming from it, activates the fog lights on your vehicle. Fog lights are a legal requirement but can only be used in extremely low visibility, such as thick fog or mist. Many are unaware that there are very strict rules regarding their use.

Peter explained: "It's a common misconception that fog lights must always be on during winter or rainy weather. However, their misuse, particularly in clear conditions, can result in a £30 fine and points on your licence. In the lead-up to Christmas, the last thing any of us want is to have to fork out extra money for a simple mistake like this."

Peter said that a lot of drivers are unaware that it is actually illegal to use your fog lights when they are not needed. The Highway Code states: "You must not use front or rear fog lights unless visibility is seriously reduced (see Rule 226) as they dazzle other road users and can obscure your brake lights. You must switch them off when visibility improves."

The expert added: "This is why we always encourage drivers to only use their fog lights when necessary. When visibility drops below 100 metres - roughly the size of a football pitch - failing to use your fog lights can be incredibly dangerous. Foggy conditions can build up quickly, sometimes without us even noticing. And, while a football pitch might seem like a big distance, the importance of keeping a close eye on visibility can’t be overstated."

You must not use front or rear fog lights unless visibility is seriously reduced (
Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The car expert said the best time to use your fog lights is when visibility is significantly reduced, and you cannot see more than 100 metres ahead. People should remember to switch the lights off when visibility improves.

Peter added: "The primary function of fog lights is to enhance your visibility during dense fog. Drivers should remember to switch them off once conditions improve, as unnecessarily illuminated fog lights can dazzle other drivers and lead to dangerous driving situations."

‌Drivers are encouraged to familiarise themselves with their fog light controls. If you can't find them you should check you owner's manual for more information.

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