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21st Jun 2024

Flying an England flag for the Euros might leave you with a fine of £2,500

Ryan Price

Your five pound flag probably isn’t worth the two grand fine that could come with it.

Drivers have been warned that attaching an England flag to their car window could result in them receiving a hefty fine.

For many, the Euros is a time to go all out with support for your country, but while wearing your England shirt to the pub or draping a St George’s flag out of your bedroom window are deemed to be innocent and harmless acts, when it comes to your vehicle things are a little different.

This is because faultily attached flags and decorations could be considered an obstruction, and may potentially result in causing someone else injury or damage to property were it to become unattached while driving.

The law permits officers to dish out a £300 fine on the spot for an unsecured load, and it could lead to a court appearance where penalties can reach up to £2,500.

Large flags are considered much more of a problem, as they could obstruct the driver’s or another motorist’s view, or endanger other road users.

West Yorkshire Police state that a flag the size of a piece of A4 paper would be considered normal, but ‘the larger the flag the more potential for problems.’

Here is what regulations say about flags.

Regulation 30 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations Act says: “Every motor vehicle shall be so designed and constructed that the driver thereof while controlling the vehicle can at all times have a full view of the road and traffic ahead of the motor vehicle.

The government guidance from 2010 set out: “It is not a specific offence to fly a flag on a vehicle and the majority of vehicle flags currently on sale are legal, provided they are fitted to the vehicle in a sensible manner.

“However, it is worth noting the following points: flags which are so large that they obscure the driver’s view of traffic ahead of the vehicle may contravene Regulation 30 of The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986.

“Flags which are constructed or positioned in such a way that they can cause danger to pedestrians or other road users could contravene Regulations 53 or 100 of the above regulations.”

LONDON – JUNE 05: An England flag to support the English team for the upcoming soccer World Cup in Germany is pictured on a car on June 5, 2006 in London, England. The World Cup officially kicks off on 9th of June with England playing its first game against Paraguay on June 10. England will also play Sweden and Trinidad and Tobago in its preliminary group games. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

If you’re currently thinking of adapting your number plate to show support for the Three Lions, think again.

The law sets out specific requirements for register plates, and incorrect ones carry a maximum fine of £1,000.

Most roadsides and car parks are dotted with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, and police use them to identify and locate cars and disrupt criminals.

So, while there’s no rule against driving with a flag, the situation it could create were it to come loose is what the road safety authorities are trying to prevent.

Support your country safely this summer.

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