Strange driving laws and offences in the UK

The Highway Code applies to all road users in the United Kingdom and it is a set of information, advice and mandatory rules and laws. While the majority of the laws have a large amount of common sense there are some laws and offences that are less well known. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the most bizarre offences that relate to driving.

Using your phone to pay at a drive-through

Did you know that you could be prosecuted for using your mobile phone to pay when at a drive-through if you leave your engine running? It is illegal to use your phone in your vehicle with the engine running, even when you are stationery in a lay by, on a public road, or on a road that is accessible by the public. The penalty for usage is a £200 fine and 6 penalty points on your licence.

Driving too slowly

You know that episode in Friends where Ross gets a ticket for driving too slowly well believe it or not you can get a ticket for exactly that. From failing to join a motorway or dual carriageway at the appropriate speed to causing other road users to have to excessively brake, driving too slowly can be just as dangerous as driving too fast. Penalties for driving too slowly can vary from a verbal warning up to a £5000 fine and 9 penalty points.

Splashing pedestrians

Yes this urban myth is actually based on the truth. Those who intentionally splash pedestrians can face penalty points and a fine. The offence falls under the Road Traffic Act 1988 ‘driving without reasonable consideration for other persons’. A standard £100 fine and 3 penalty points is the most common action taken while if it is taken to court the fine can be as high as £5000 and result in 9 penalty points on your licence.

Leaving snow on your car roof

Most drivers remove the snow from their car windows but did you know that failing to remove the snow from your car roof could lead you with a £60 fine and 3 penalty points? Under section 229 of the Highway Code you are responsible for ‘removing all snow that might fall into the path of other road users’.

Driving with unrestrained pets

Did you know that it is now illegal to drive with a pet that is loose in your vehicle? Acceptable restraints for dogs include a harness for the rear seat, a dog guard for the boot or a crate in the boot. Smaller pets should be kept in a pet box. Failing to comply with these new laws could see you fined £100 as well as having 3 penalty points added to your licence.

Beeping your horn

The only time that it is acceptable to sound your horn is to alert other road users of a hazard or danger. For the majority of cases most people will probably just be given a verbal warning but there is also a fixed penalty notice of £30 and a maximum fine of £1000 if this escalates and goes to court. It’s illegal to sound your horn while driving in built-up areas and residential streets between the hours of 11.30pm and 7.00am – someone really should tell taxi drivers.

Rude hand gestures

We all know that sometimes the actions of other road users can make us angry but making rude hand gestures is not the solution. In fact drivers who use hand gestures to show their displeasure on the road could be fined up to £1000 as part of the Crime and Disorders Act 1998.

Hopefully, now that you know about all these weird and wonderful laws you’ll be able to avoid potential fines and penalty points on your licence.