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Millions of UK motorists risking fines for roadside toilet behaviour

MILLIONS of Brit motorists are risking a heavy fine and three points on their licence - by skipping facilities and having a WEE at the side of the motorway.

Stopping on the hard shoulder of a motorway or dual carriageway is illegal unless it’s an emergency, a breakdown or you’re told to do so by police.

Breaking the rule is an offence under motorway traffic regulations, carrying at least a £100 fine and three penalty points on your licence.

But a new survey by leading UK car leasing firm Select Car Leasing has revealed how up to one in ten motorists - particularly men - admit pulling up on the hard shoulder to ‘urinate’.

A significant six per cent of motorists say they’ve urinated on the hard shoulder - which is around 2.5 million driving licence holders nationally.

Astonishingly, many others resort to going to the toilet INSIDE their cars - for both wees (6 per cent of respondents) and even poos (2 per cent).

James O’Malley, company director of Select Car Leasing, says road users need to be aware of the risks so they’re not caught short - in more ways than one.

He said: “Motorway hard shoulders are not a safe place to be, with countless accidents occurring there each year, many of them proving fatal.

“By pulling onto the hard shoulder when it’s not an emergency, for something like going to the toilet, you’re putting yourself and other road users in grave danger.

“The regulations are in place to try and limit the risk and you ignore them at your peril.

“No matter how desperate you are, or how loudly the kids are screaming about needing a wee, stay on the motorway and aim for the nearest services instead.”

Highways England recently warned that around 100 people are killed on motorway hard shoulders each year.

And if you cause an accident, you could be charged with careless driving - and hit with a £5,000 fine, up to nine penalty points and even a lengthy driving ban.

The Select Car Leasing study showed that, overall, 9 per cent of men and 4 per cent of women had stopped on the motorway hard shoulder for a wee.

The problem was most pronounced among drivers in London, where the figure rose to 21 per cent of respondents.

And when it comes to roadside wees in general - away from motorways and hard shoulders - we’re a nation of al fresco relievers.

Almost a third of men - 32 per cent - said they’d had a wee on the side of a road while 11 per cent of women said the same.

Urinating isn’t the only reason to stop on the hard shoulder, either.

Three per cent of men - the equivalent of around a million motorists - had ‘defecated’ on the hard shoulder, with 2 per cent of women admitting the same.

Meanwhile 13 per cent of those polled confessed they’d ‘vomited’ in their cars.

Select Car Leasing’s Mr O’Malley adds: “The number of public urinals has been cut massively over the past decade but it’s not hard to find a loo on the motorway as there’s no shortage of services.

“And if you’re stuck in a traffic jam while desperate for the loo,you also need to be mindful about blocking the hard shoulder, as you might end up impeding the emergency services.”

The study also highlighted some of the UK’s long-standing myths when it comes to weeing by the side of the road.

Many of those polled believed it’s perfectly legal to ‘go to the toilet next to the rear wheel of a car’ no matter where you are. But there’s no such provision in the law.

And if you do wee in public, you could be charged with ‘outraging public decency’, ‘indecent exposure’ or even ‘disorderly behaviour’ if you do so in a brazen manner.

Mr O’Malley reveals: “There’s one saving grace - the Law Commission makes it clear that a police officer may make an exception for an expectant mother.”

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Tuesday, 28/06/2022