As a PCO driver in London, or anywhere in the UK, you will want to familiarise yourself with the traffic laws and road signs to ensure that you are following the local regulations correctly. You will have to make sure that you are obeying the rules of the road otherwise there can be consequences. The UK uses the imperial system for road signs and all speed limits and restrictions are set up in miles per hour. There are also national speed limits for cars and motorbikes that you should know about. These will make your knowledge of the London roads very useful when you are driving around having to pick up passengers.
On some UK roads, it is unusual to find speed limit signs unless the speed limit is different from the “standard” limit for that road type. These can include built-up areas, single carriageways, dual carriageways and motorways, areas near schools or areas with a lot of pedestrians and roads with sharp bends.
While following the speed limits is recommended, it is not always possible. For this reason, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) generally suggests that a margin of 10% plus 2 mph of the posted speed limit before you will be given a speeding ticket. Keep in mind, however, that individual police forces can use their discretion and if they think that you were driving too fast then this can result in a fine. This has been especially true for PCO car hire drivers in London and most other PCO car rental drivers throughout the UK.
In most cases, if the police catch you speeding, you can risk a verbal warning. Either you will have to attend a speeding awareness course, receiving a fixed penalty notice plus a £100 fine or prosecution. The best thing is not to speed so that it is much easier for you to keep hold of your PCO car hire license.
Some road signs are familiar to drivers from other countries all around the world. There are a few that can only be found in the United Kingdom. Here are a couple of pointers to help you in the right direction:
Signs with red circles are mostly prohibitive.
Signs with blue circles but no red border mostly give positive instruction.
Warning signs are mostly triangular.
Direction signs are mostly rectangular.
Direction signs on motorways have blue backgrounds.
Direction signs on primary routes have green backgrounds.