Drivers are being warned of the dangers of ‘portholing’, with research showing many in the UK have broken the law.

Portholing is a driving offence whereby motorists do not fully clear the windows of their car from ice, frost or snow – in some cases leaving just a small ‘porthole’ to see out of.

More than half of motorists admit they have done this in the past, despite risking a fine of £60, potentially rising to £2,500 fine if their vehicle is deemed dangerous.

The offence could also see three points added to your driving licence.

The Argus:

The research from Halfords revealed that of those who say they’ve previously not properly cleared their windows, ten per cent say it was because they ‘couldn’t be bothered’, and a similar number (9%) say they didn’t want to get their hands cold.

However, if the shoe was on the other foot, 58% say they would be angry if someone who drove into them hadn’t properly cleared their windscreen.

And furthermore, three per cent of motorists – equating to roughly a million drivers – admit they have been in an accident because they’d not properly cleared their windows.

The most common reasons for committing the offence include being late for work, being late for a meeting or appointment, and being late to get the kids to school.

Halfords CEO Graham Stapleton is calling on motorists to make sure they properly clear their windscreens during the current cold snap.

He said: “Most motorists know that driving with ice or snow on their windows is illegal and dangerous, so I really don’t understand why so many are needlessly putting themselves at risk.

“Whilst officers may exercise some discretion, the letter of the law states that all windows, including those on the sides and at the rear, must be completely free of snow or ice. But anyone driving with just a small part of their windscreen cleared is at risk of being stopped.

“I’d also add that motorists should clear any snow from their roof. When braking, this could be propelled forward and entirely cover the windscreen – not something anyone would want to experience whilst driving, especially at faster speeds such as on a motorway.”