When is it against the law to use fog lights – and what does the dashboard symbol look like? | The Sun

FOG is a serious hazard to drivers – and it could be dangerous if you don't use your fog lights at the right time.

Using your fog lights at the wrong time is against driving laws – so it's important to be well informed. Here's everything you need to know.

What does the fog light symbol look like?

All cars are fitted with rear fog lights by law and many UK vehicles have both front and back fog lights.

Your dashboard will show you which lights on your car are switched on.

When you switch on your fog lights, a symbol with the fog light icon will light up to let you know and remind you.

This is called a tell-tale light, and is standard around the world.

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The symbol for your front fog lights will normally be green, and the symbol for your rear fog lights is ordinarily amber.

Front fog lights are represented with a green light shining left, with a wavy line through the beam.

Meanwhile, the rear fog light symbol depicts an amber light pointing right, with the same wavy line through the beam.

They can usually be found on a button on the dashboard, on a steering wheel, or next to the dial you use to control your regular lights.

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Fog lights can usually be found on a button on the dashboard, on a steering wheel, or next to the dial you use to control your regular lightsCredit: Alamy

Some people think it looks like a sideways jellyfish.

If you can't find the fog light symbol or work out how to turn them on- then have a look in your car's logbook, this should tell you exactly where and how fog lights will function for your specific vehicle.

When should you use your fog lights?

Your fog lights have been fitted to your car for use in fog and heavy mist which significantly reduces visibility on the road.

Specifically, they're meant to be used when visibility drops below 100m, around the length of a football pitch.

At this point, you should be driving slowly enough to react to hazards, remembering your stopping distances.

If you don't switch on your headlights under these conditions you could risk the safety of yourself or other road users.

If you are involved in an accident during fog and you don't have your fog lights on it could mean that your insurance is invalid.

According to the RAC, you should: "Use your common sense. If the fog is so severe that you’re struggling to see other vehicles, switch on your fog lights.

''But don’t keep switching them off and on again, as this can confuse other drivers."

Is it ever against the law to use your fog lights?

If you use your fog lights when it isn't foggy you could be endangering other road users and potentially breaking the law.

You should never use your fog lights in rain or drizzle – and could be fined by the police if caught.

The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 says that it is illegal to use your lights to dazzle drivers coming towards you.

Fog lights are very bright, which means they shouldn't be used in normal weather.

Switching or leaving your fog lights on when it's clear, or if it's just rainy, or in light mist where visibility is greater than 100m, could land you with a fine.

What is the penalty for using fog lights incorrectly?

If you use your fog lights incorrectly, you could be fined £30 at the roadside.

You won't get penalty points if dealt with in this way.

If you cause an accident or injure somebody, the penalties could be much harsher and include points, bigger fines and even a ban.

How do you turn on your fog lights?

Every car is different, so you'll need to check your manual to be sure you know how to switch on your fog lights.

But in general, you would start by switching on your headlights as normal.

Then locate the fog light symbol – which may be on the indicator stalk with the other light functions.

You may have to rotate the end of the stalk, or flick a switch to the right or left of the steering wheel.

Alternatively, it could be a button to press on your dashboard.

Whatever the method, you should familiarise yourself with how to turn the lights on before you go out in more weather.

You also need to make sure you remember to turn them off again when they are no longer necessary.

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