The top five most obscure driving laws in the UK
If you love cars, then you’ll no doubt pride yourself on how attentively you drive on the road.
Whether letting other road users out at junctions or using motorway lanes properly, you probably think you follow UK driving laws to the letter.
However, it’s worth remembering that in a country that has centuries of laws, there are always weird irregularities in our legal system. This also extends to cars.
So, next time you let your dog hang its head out of the window, whip out your phone to pay for a drive-thru meal or run through a puddle in a built-up area, double-check that you’re not accidentally falling foul of the law.
To help you keep out of trouble, we’ve compiled five of the most obscure driving laws in the UK:
Don’t let your dog hang its head out of the window
We start with arguably one of the strangest laws of them all – especially in such a dog-loving nation as ours.
According to the Highway Code, you can’t allow pets to remain unrestrained while you’re driving.
If you do, you could face a £5,000 fine and a whopping nine points on your licence!
While anyone who has had their gargantuan dog escape from the boot can vouch for how distracting it can be, you might not have been aware of how serious an offence it is.
You can’t drive significantly below the speed limit
Next up on the list is a law that will have petrolheads saying ‘I told you so’!
Officially, motorists who drive excessively slowly can be stopped by the police and slapped with a ‘careless driving’ penalty.
The result could be anything from an unofficial telling-off to nine whole points on the offender’s licence.
Anyone who has been stuck behind a dawdling Honda Jazz (it’s always a Jazz) in a national speed limit zone can feel at least a little bit better about any blue language they might’ve used!
You can’t use your phone to pay at a drive-thru
Okay, so you should already understand that driving while using your phone isn’t just illegal but silly. But what you might not know is that it extends to some stationary situations too.
While common sense suggests that if you’ve stopped and pulled off a road then you can legally use your phone, this isn’t true.
In fact, you must turn off the engine and engage the handbrake before you can use your phone. This means that anyone using their device to pay for drive-thru snacks is in breach of the law.
That soggy cheeseburger probably isn’t worth the £200 fine or the six penalty points on offer.
You can’t purposefully splash people on the road
We’re starting to branch off into full obscurity here with the next offence on our list! Purposefully splashing pedestrians by driving through puddles.
Yes, according to the 1998 Road Traffic Act, purposeful water splashing makes you guilty of careless and inconsiderate driving. This could land you with a £100 fine and three penalty points.
Can’t see catching serial puddle splashers being high on your local constable’s list of priorities, mind.
Warning other road users of speed traps
Finally, we have perhaps the meanest illegality of them all – punishing motorists for warning others of nearby speed cameras.
If you’re caught flashing your lights at other motorists, warning them of a speed trap ahead, technically you’re obstructing a police officer in their duty.
Next time, you’ll just have to wince as you watch other cars fly headlong into a speed camera.
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