Unusual driving laws in the UK

It can be tough getting back behind the wheel after a driving conviction. Familiarising yourself with some of the UK’s more unusual driving laws can help you stay on the right track.

From splashing pedestrians with puddles to letting your dog lean out of the window, there are plenty of legal pitfalls many of us are unaware of when we hit the road. Aside from these, plenty of drivers have fallen foul of speed limits, ending up with fines or points on their licence or, at worst, driving bans.

Here at Insurance Factory, we understand that people make mistakes. We know how hard it can be finding good service and fairly priced policies, once you’ve had a driving conviction.

Our convicted driver insurance takes your individual circumstances into account. We offer competitive prices and excellent benefits, so you’ll be in good hands with us.

We’re here to help you enjoy driving again, so take a look at our guide to some of the most unusual driving laws in the UK – some might surprise you!

Blowing your horn

Correct use of your car’s horn means using it to make other drivers aware of your presence. Honking just because you’re sat in a traffic jam or you’re getting frustrated with other drivers is not a good enough reason to use your horn.

Use your horn in an aggressive manner and you could land yourself with a £1,000 fine.

Warning other cars about speed traps

We’ve all been there – you’ve spotted a police man with a speed gun at the last moment and the relief means you want to warn others about his presence, too. But don’t!

Flashing your headlights to inform other drivers of a speed trap ahead could land you in hot water – even though you think you might be doing them a favour!

You can’t pay at drive-throughs with your phone

We’re all aware of the illegality of using a phone whilst driving, however, many of us don’t know the extent of the laws relating to this act.

It’s often easiest to make contactless payments from our phones, rather than searching for the right card or change. You may think you’re staying within the law if you use your phone when stationary in your vehicle, but laws such as the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 2003 ban the use or holding of a phone when operating a motor vehicle – which means no contactless phone payments when grabbing a meal at a drive-through!

No napping in your car while drunk

You may be trying to do the right thing, avoiding driving while impaired and kipping in your car instead, but guess what? You could be prosecuted for doing so.

Section 5 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 deems ‘driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle’ illegal if you’re over the prescribed alcohol limit. Even if you’re inside your car sleeping, you could be perceived as being ‘in charge’ of your vehicle and face charges for doing so while drunk.

Your pooch can’t hang out of your car’s windows

It puts a smile on many faces, seeing a happy pup travel by, head out of the window, tongue and ears blowing in the wind!

Sadly, although most furry friends love to do this, Rule 57 of the Highway Code states that canines must be ‘suitably restrained’ during travel, to prevent injury or distraction.

You can’t act rudely towards other drivers

If you’re spotted swearing or making offensive hand gestures at other drivers, you could be prosecuted. The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 makes ‘disorderly conduct’ such as this illegal, so try to stay calm behind the wheel and remember your manners.

That means no tailgating, trying to push your way into traffic or generally driving in an aggressive way.

You can’t drive too far below the speed limit

Many of us have fallen foul of speeding laws, but in most cases, this is due to pressing a little too heavily on the accelerator and breaking the speed limit.

While it’s essential to stay within speed limits – especially when driving in dangerous weather conditions – if you’re caught driving too slowly you could be violating the law, putting other drivers at risk, and increasing the chance of accidents occurring and traffic building up.

Authorities could call on the Road Traffic Act 1988’s  ‘Driving Offences’ section and classify slow driving as careless and risk-prone.

You can’t deliberately splash pedestrians on the street

It’s unpleasant being splashed by a huge, cold puddle while walking along. Luckily, the law decrees that drivers should not purposefully hit puddles in order to soak pedestrians.

The Road Traffic Act 1988 states that doing so qualifies as ‘careless and inconsiderate driving’ in public places or on roads. If you’re caught crashing through a puddle to intentionally splash someone, you could end up with points on your licence, plus a fine.

You cannot play excessively loud music or radio when driving

It’s nice to liven up dull car journeys by playing a favourite playlist or podcast, especially when you’re stuck in endless queues. Just make sure you keep the volume at a reasonable level – you could get in trouble otherwise.

Rule 148 of the Highway Code does not permit loud music, due to the fact that it could mask other vital sounds, such as sirens. In addition to this, Regulation 97 of The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 decrees that drivers should not use their vehicles in a way that could generate avoidable, excessively loud noise.

You must keep your registration plates visible and clean

It’s easy to forget about your number plates. They can quickly become dirty, as you drive along motorways and country lanes. If the police deem your plates illegible you could get slapped with a hefty fine.
The Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001 requires drivers to keep their registration plates clean and visible at all times.

You could risk a fine of up to £1,000 and even fail your MOT if your number plate is deemed ‘unreadable’.

Convicted driver insurance

Insurance Factory believes that those with driving convictions deserve a second chance. We offer competitively priced convicted driver insurance, taking into account your individual circumstances, judgement-free.
Start your new journey and get a quote today.