Are you inadvertently breaking the law while driving?

Published by Andrew Bogie
19th November 2019
Are you inadvertently breaking the law while driving?

With more than 300 laws in the highway code, it is likely that some drivers may be breaking the law without knowing it, a new survey by Click4reg.co.uk suggests. The website quizzed 2,192 British drivers on some of the more unusual rules of the road, with some surprising results.

By far the rule most broken is using a phone to pay at drive-throughs. Only 23 per cent were aware it was illegal and a whopping 78 per cent admitted to doing it.

You can be prosecuted for being overly aggressive behind the wheel. As the second most broken rule, only 41 per cent knew this and 67 per cent admit to doing it.

Similarly, beeping the horn whilst stationary (unless for a valid reason) can also get you into trouble. Only 30 per cent knew this wasn’t allowed, and 63 per cent have done it, placing it in third.

Considering the bottom of the table, drivers are most confident with not resting on the hard shoulder. 71 per cent knew this isn’t allowed, and thankfully only 7 per cent have.

Brits are also disciplined when it comes to alerting other drivers of speed cameras/traps. While only 37 per cent knew you can’t do this, only 10 per cent have actually done it.

And similarly, driving too slowly doesn’t appear to be an issue. 68 per cent of respondents knew this was against the highway code, and only 15 per cent have done so.

Law/rule Percentage aware Percentage guilty
Using phone to pay at drive-through 23 78
Swearing/aggressive behaviour 41 67
Beeping horn whilst stationary 30 63
Driving over 30mph on street-lit road 37 61
Fitting sat nav to wrong part of windscreen 15 55
Unnecessarily loud music 43 52
Leaving a car idling 24 44
Driving with unrestrained pets 28 42
Allowing a baby to be cradled whilst car is moving 39 40
Eating/drinking/applying makeup at the wheel 52 39
Hogging middle lane of motorway 59 38
Splashing pedestrians 18 37
Leaving a car whilst stopped on single yellow 46 35
Sleeping in car whilst drunk 13 33
Dirt-obscured view of number plates 71 27
Using unfixed mobile as a sat nav 66 26
Not clearing snow from roof/ice from windscreens 51 19
Driving too slowly 68 15
Flashing cars to alert them of speed traps 37 10
Resting on hard shoulder 71 7