Which motoring offences incur a one-point penalty, and if none, then which ones should?

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Which motoring offences, if any, incur a one-point penalty? If none, which motoring offences should incur a one-point penalty? Dougie Firth, south London

Send new questions to nq@theguardian.com.

Readers reply

Playing drum’n’bass too loud when you’re parked outside my house. DeanMorrison

I don’t think there are any one-point offences, beyond the UK’s standard Eurovision entry (ba-dum, tss).

What should be a one-point offence:

  • Failure to indicate properly before switching lanes on a dual carriageway.

  • Switching lanes on a dual carriageway without getting far enough ahead of the car behind you in that lane.

  • Middle-lane driving on a dual carriageway.

  • Undertaking on a dual carriageway.

  • Tailgating. Porthos

Driving a motor vehicle with passengers under the age of 18 between the hours of 0830 and 0900 and between 1530 and 1600 while being ordinarily resident a mile or less from an educational establishment. One point. For every offence. SMKirov2

Opening a passenger door on to a cycle lane without checking. CarolineS

Turning without indicating. Two points if you’re driving a BMW or Audi. LMCollis

Nothing should incur one point. You should never be allowed to commit an offence 12 times before actually being punished for it. MeddlingKid

Part of the ratchet effect of political interference in sentencing (usually without much evidence) is that periodic “clampdowns” raise the tariffs for various offences, while they rarely fall. The same effect leads to British jails being perpetually full. When the rules were less formulaic I recall there were magistrates who issued penalties such as a point per bald tyre. leadballoon

Offences that should in my view incur a one-point penalty include:

  • Changing lanes on the motorway without signalling.

  • Driving with your mouth hanging open at 22mph in a 30 limit and intermittently braking for no reason.

  • Knowingly wearing a flat cap while driving a saloon car.

  • Displaying a sticker in the rear window that reads: “This vehicle is being expertly driven by Tracey”, if it’s being inexpertly driven or your name isn’t Tracey. Or even if it is, and it is.

  • Driving a custard-yellow motorcar of any make on the public highway, causing distress to sensitive road users.

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  • Parking a huge black 4WD Mercedes SUV with the engine running on the grass verge outside an infants’ school in the mistaken belief that you’re allowed to because you’re rich, and that’s what off-roading is.

  • Having an unidentifiable shiny dangly thing hanging from your rearview mirror, because it’s a distraction to other drivers who can’t help staring and trying to figure out what the hell it is.

  • Towing a wooden caravan behind a traction engine on a two-lane bendy main road on a bank holiday Monday.

  • Just being Jeremy Clarkson, to get you a head start towards a ban.

  • Driving a weedy Vauxhall Corsa while trying, and failing miserably, to look macho by playing rap music very loudly with the windows open.

Which all reminds me that decades ago my mate Dick was given a trendy small steering wheel for his birthday. He fitted it to his Ford Anglia, which the following morning, a Saturday, he sensationally drove through the busy main street of a startled West Didsbury frantically waving the original steering wheel out of the open driver’s window and yelling “HELP, HELP!”. He got away with it, and the privilege of witnessing that scene was possibly one of the highlights of my life. ThereisnoOwl

A friend used to drive a lefthand-drive car with his labrador in the passenger seat with its paws up on the dash and a loop of black cardboard Sellotaped to the dash in front of it that at first glance looked like a steering wheel. HaveYouFedTheFish

  • Anyone who chooses to drive a grey car, which in the UK is not only the same colour as the road but also the same colour as the sky.

  • Anyone who chooses not to use their headlights because it is not past their bedtime regardless of how poor visiblity may be (double if they have a grey car).

  • Anyone who mistakenly believes that the primary purpose of car headlights is to illuminate the country and turn the night into day and thus have chosen to strap a couple of second world war searchlights to the front of their vehicle. ILikeChips

  • Displaying a “show dogs in transit” sticker. There are always people in transit, how come your show dog is more important?

  • Failing to wave a thank you to people who pull over or stop for you so you may pass unhindered.

  • Doing 42mph in a 30mph limit and continuing to do 42mph when the road becomes a 60mph limit.

  • Having a louder than necessary exhaust on what is basically your mum’s old Corsa.

  • Not knowing the size of your vehicle and so being utterly incompetent when driving down narrow streets where, actually, there is space for two cars to pass provided you are not 4ft from the kerb.

  • Driving kids to school when you live less than a mile away.

All of these should be the death penalty, but people say I am too harsh, so a point will have to do. Markear

Killing cyclists. Would be an improvement on what you currently get. OllyJR

Undertaking … annoying and dangerous. Splutterer

I know. Why can’t hearse drivers get a move on? Mobilepope

If you aren’t overtaking yourself, why are you not in the left lane anyway? Two problems solved, you middle-lane-hogging and the other driver undertaking. Olddogandgrump

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