Drivers warned of explosive Bonfire Night fines
If you’re planning on hosting a Guy Fawkes Night party that will blow your friends and family away — figuratively, at least — make sure you don’t land yourself with a £300 fine in the process
With November 5 approaching, drivers are being warned that they could invalidate their car insurance policy by transporting too many fireworks, which could see them hit by a fine and six penalty points.
And if they’re involved in an accident while carrying them, not only could the fireworks themselves cause some explosive problems, but insurance companies could also refuse to pay out.
For motorists without a firework storage licence, the legal weight limit for transporting explosive material is 50kg, which relates to the explosives themselves, not the total weight of the box.
In fireworks, the amount of explosive material usually equates to between 10% and 25% of the total weight, although this should be checked on the individual firework, as percentages will vary.
So, if you’re hosting a Guy Fawkes Night party in your garden with family and friends, your fireworks are unlikely to tip you over the 50kg limit.
However, if you’re supplying the local Bonfire Night display in your town or neighbourhood then you could end up transporting more than 50kg, so if you’re unsure you should check before you head out.
Motorists are also advised to never store fireworks in or near parked vehicles, so take them out of your boot as soon as possible and store them in a safe, dry place away from your car.
Rebecca Ashton, head of driver behaviour at IAM RoadSmart, advised drivers to prepare properly before buying fireworks by removing any flammable substances from their cars.
She said: “Put the fireworks in a spark-resistant box – packs of fireworks usually come in cardboard, but individual ones can be loose so a plastic box with a fitted lid would be ideal.
“Remember don’t get carried away in the shop as you can’t transport more than 50kg of fireworks unless you hold a special permit, check your insurance as there could be something in the small print.
“Most providers will cover the carriage of fireworks for a personal display, but always worth checking so you don’t invalidate your cover.”
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