MOTORISTS are being warned to avoid a simple mistake when driving in the rain, snow or fog which could land them a £50 fine.

As winter is now definitely here, rain, snow and fog are all to be expected.

Everyone knows to turn their headlights on when it is dark, but many did not know that they should also be on during these weather conditions even during the daytime- or you risk getting a fine.

The Highway Code states that drivers "MUST use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced", especially when you cannot see more than 100 meters (328 feet) in front of you.

Fog lights should only be used when visibility is "seriously reduced", but they should be turned off as soon as visibility improves, as they can obscure your brake lights and dazzle other road users.

Failing to comply with this rule can see the drive land an on-the-spot fine of £50.

However, if you are driving in built-up 30mph areas where roads are adequately lit by street lights that are around 180-metres apart, you are not required to use your headlights when it rains as lighting from the street lights should be sufficient, although motorists are recommended to keep them on as a precaution.

Rodney Kumar, spokesman for IAM RoadSmart, said: “Not using headlights when it is raining, at dawn or dusk, or where it is approaching darkness is utterly foolhardy.

"It makes no effort at all to turn that switch and put them on.

"Generally it’s laziness or forgetfulness that leads to people not using them, but it could make all the difference to a pedestrian or cyclist not having a crash with your vehicle.

“And don’t forget if you have day running lights that they often don’t switch the rear lights on automatically.”