Revealed: 6 of Britain’s Most Unknown Driving Laws

by Adam Phillips - 3 Min Read

Use our quick guide to brush up on these more unknown motoring laws so you don’t end up paying in fines and points once you pass your test.

Even the most diligent learner might fall foul of these following laws – so make sure you know your Highway Code inside and out to avoid being fined or penalised once you’ve got your hands on your hard-won licence:

1. “Aww, ain’t that cute!”
It’s a lovely image; the cute mutt poking its head out of the passenger window, tongue out, ears flapping in the wind as the car cruises along. Alas, it’s also highly illegal – you could be fined as the Highway Code expects motorists to suitably restrain their animals in a car so they are unable to distract you or cause an injury to you (or it) if an emergency stop is required.

Failing to adhere to the law can not only see you punished for driving without due care and attention – but an unrestrained animal could also see your car insurance invalidated in the event of an accident.

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2. “Check out my block-rocking beats!”
It is a common-held belief among some drivers that playing your favourite music really loud while behind the wheel is seriously cool; that all the other motorists, say, stuck in traffic with you will love those thumping, rolling beats and be secretly thanking and admiring you for it. In reality though, the tinnitus-bating driver looks more like a total tool than seriously cool.

And you could also be breaking the law if the volume of your music is judged to be alarming, distressing or annoying by those around you. Expect to be given a verbal warning by the police and if you ignore it, your car to be seized. Rockin’.

3. “Oh heck, I’ve drunk too much – I’ll just sleep it off in my car. Hic.”
The interior of your car might seem like the perfect mobile sleeping bag if you’ve just rolled out of the pub or a party a little drunk but can’t face the long walk/taxi drive home. But if the police find you asleep in your vehicle, the onus will be on you to prove that you had no intention of driving – or face 10 points on your licence and an epic fine. Good luck.

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4. “Why, you lousy, stupid, idiotic #@?$@!!!!“
We all get ‘flustered’ from time to time when at the wheel – after all, other drivers can do the most stupid of things from being too busy preening themselves to notice the lights have changed or cutting you up.

But the answer is not to get sweary or use ‘provocative’ gestures to signal your displeasure – if you’re caught cursing or flipping the finger at drivers, you can be done for ‘disorderly behaviour’ and should expect a fine that is equal to 75% of your weekly pay.

5. “I’ll just keep an eye on Google Maps by leaving the phone on my lap”
The urge to glance down at your mobile’s sat nav to check your route is tempting when behind the wheel – but it’s also against the law. If you are going to use your mobile’s sat nav abilities, you are not allowed to have it ‘loose’, i.e., on your lap or precariously placed in a cup holder.

Instead, it must be mounted on a stand on the dashboard at all times – just like you would with a dedicated sat nav – and your route entered before you start the car and head off on your journey. A failure to do so could lead to a £200 fine and six points on your licence. Hello retest!

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6. “Walkies!”
Another pet-related law to remember – if you should breakdown at the side of the road, most of us know that you should exit the vehicle and wait well away from it. But the same rule doesn’t apply to your pet sadly.

Instead, you must leave it in the car because if said critters should break free or become stressed once outside the vehicle, you run the risk of the animal shooting out into the road and causing an accident. The only exception to the rule is if the vehicle needs to be vacated quickly due to an emergency.

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