You could get a £1,000 fine for driving with HAY FEVER, expert warns as pollen counts go sky-high

DRIVERS heading out for summer trips have been warned they could face a £1,000 fine if they’re struck down by hay fever while travelling.

The June heatwave has unleashed a pollen bomb on the UK, with sufferers reporting worse-than-usual symptoms this year.


Cops can slap drivers with a huge fine if they’re suffering with hay fever when they get behind the wheelCredit: Getty – Contributor
It'll pile on misery for the millions of sufferers around the country after the Met Office warned pollen levels will be 'very high' in the days to come


It’ll pile on misery for the millions of sufferers around the country after the Met Office warned pollen levels will be ‘very high’ in the days to comeCredit: Met Office

Around a quarter of Brits are allergic to pollen, and the Met Office says there’s a “particularly potent” strain about this year after wet and warm weather in May.

Forecasters have warned of ‘very high’ levels in the days to come.

Now experts at Peter Vardy have warned sufferers must take “extra care” this week to ensure they can still drive safely.

Driving while experiencing symptoms like irritated, red eyes, coughing and sneezing and pain around the temples could be reason enough for cops to pull motorists over.

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And officers could slap unlucky Brits with a whopping fine – as the driving may potentially be classed as a “failure to have proper control of the vehicle and a full view of the road”. 

Craig Forbes, motoring expert at Peter Vardy, says: “Drivers must take responsibility for assessing their own fitness to drive when experiencing symptoms.

“There are ways to minimise symptoms of hay fever during spring, but if your eyes are extremely watery and you feel unwell, your driving could be impaired and you may wish to consider alternative travel in order to avoid a fine.”

Various tips and tricks to keep sinuses clear while on the road include planning journeys around the Met Office’s pollen forecast, using essential oils like peppermint or lavender in your in-car air freshener and taking non-drowsy allergy medication.

Motorists are also urged to properly clean their car so pollen doesn’t stick, keep car windows closed and avoid rural locations where symptoms could be worse.

Usually, hay fever symptoms begin when the pollen count is 50 grains per cubic metre of air. A reading of birch pollen is considered “high” when that reading reaches between 81 and 200.

At the moment, the spores responsible for allergies are from grass.

Tree pollen is the first type of powder to explode in the UK, causing symptoms of hay fever from March to mid-May.

Speaking on the Met Office’s Weather Snap podcast, Yolanda Clewlow said: “In terms of the numbers of pollen grains in the air, what we’re seeing isn’t especially noteworthy compared to what we’ve had in previous years.

“However, the potency of these pollen grains could be more intense this year, and that comes down to the weather we’ve had in spring.

“A warm and wet May, coupled with a relatively warm spring, mean there’s a chance that the pollen that has developed is particularly potent.”

Stormy weather and humidity can also break down pollen grains into smaller allergenic particles – turning them into a kind of ‘super pollen’.

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Winds then whip these tiny particles through the air, making them easier to breathe in.

With a yellow warning for lightning and thunder in place for the south-west today, and more bad weather to come tomorrow, sufferers may find they’re in for a bad night.

Many Brits say their symptoms are worse than usual this year after a wet and warm May


Many Brits say their symptoms are worse than usual this year after a wet and warm MayCredit: Getty – Contributor

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