The unusual rule that could land you with a huge fine if you wear sunglasses while driving

After a glorious Bank Holiday weekend, Sheffield is set for another sunny start today.

Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 10:54 am
Traffic in Sheffield - Pic Steve Ellis

Temperatures soared over the weekend and many people took advantage of the long weekend by enjoying the sun.

It’s set to be a sunny start to Tuesday many commuters popping on a pair of sunglasses for their morning drive back to work.

But, those sunglasses could leave you very much out of pocket with a huge fine and even nine points on your licence.

Traffic in Sheffield - Pic Steve Ellis

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

While avoiding glare is advisable and the Highway Code states you must slow down or pull over if you’re dazzled by bright sunlight, it is in fact illegal to wear some types of sunglasses while driving.

There are two essential requirements for lenses to be used for driving – vision must remain clear, and sufficient light to let you see properly must get to your eyes.

Enough light?

However, some sunglasses that are sold for general usecan be too dark or unsuitable for driving.

Sun lenses for driving fall into two main categories – ‘fixed’ and ‘variable’ tint.

Most sunglasses will be category two – meaning they filter between 18 and 43 per cent of light and are suitable for driving.

However, Class 4 sunglasses will filter between 3 and 8 percent of light and are to be used for exceptionally bright sunlight.

Illegal types

If you have these type of sunglasses, then it is illegal to use them while driving.

According to the AA: “Filter category 4 lenses only transmit between 3% and 8% of light and are not suitable for driving at any time.

Sunglasses with these lenses should, by law, be labelled ‘Not suitable for driving and road use’.”

The Highway Code states, you must slow down or pull over if you’re dazzled by bright sunlight.

So, if you don’t and you’re not wearing sunglasesses to protect you from the glare then you could be convicted of careless driving.

The offence means an on-the-spot fine of £100 and up to three penalty points on your licence - or you could go to court and face up to £2,500 in a fine and nine points.