Crazy UK Laws That Really Exist

The UK is known for being one of the most prim and proper countries in the world, after all it’s the home of afternoon tea (any excuse to indulge in a good cuppa and a scone), the most famous royal family, and of course our beloved M&S, but it also has its wild side too.

As these rather crazy laws prove, the UK can take law making to a WHOLE new level. Keep reading to see which laws you’ve probably broken once or twice and make sure you remember them as they’re sure to crop up in a pub quiz!

Winter Driving Rules

We may be out of the dark depths of winter now (or at least summer should be here), but it’s only a matter of months before we’re back de-icing our cars ready to hit the roads. It’s a job we probably all hate doing, and on more than one occasion we’ve probably all scraped our windscreen to then give up with a shrug and a ‘that’ll do’ comment.

But, did you know that driving with a windscreen that isn’t clear could result in a fine of up to £1,000? So, next time you’re out in the freezing cold scraping your windscreen remember that not only is it much safer to do the job properly, but you could be left with a freezing hole in your wallet too!

Stop! Don’t Sing Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear copyright police…

Okay, so here’s the thing. If you don’t sing Happy Birthday on someone’s birthday you’re basically committing a BIG birthday sin, but if you did sing it in a public place did you know that until recently you could actually have been accused of committing a crime? 

The world’s most famous birthday song was protected by copyright law which banned it from being sung in public places. Luckily, a recent law suit has returned the song back to the public domain – birthday cheer all round.

Salmon Handling

Ever handled a salmon suspiciously? Chances are you probably haven’t, because after all how do you handle a salmon suspiciously?! Anyway, the Salmon Act of 1986 actually relates to selling fish through illicit means.

Salmon lawyers if you’re reading this, perhaps a heads up to change the wording of the law. After all, none of us fancy being arrested for picking up a pack of salmon in the supermarket now do we?

Queue Jumping

Waiting in line is annoying at the best of times, but having someone push in in front of you, well that takes the annoyance to another level. Whilst us British are probably too polite to ever point it out, queue jumping is actually illegal in some circumstances.

Transport for London byelaws state you must join the queue to buy a ticket at the back, if not you could be fined £1,000. Now we know that train prices are going up, but a fine on top could make your trip even more costly.

Door Knocking

If you’re a fan of The Big Bang Theory then you’ll know that Sheldon likes to knock on Penny’s door repeatedly, but if he was to do that here in the UK he could be breaking the law.

It was probably one of your favourite childhood games so next time you see a child playing it in the street perhaps give them a polite warning that’s illegal to ‘wilfully and wantonly disturb any inhabitant by pulling or ringing any doorbell or knocking at any door without lawful excuse’.

Bad References

We’ve probably all worked a job where it’s not gone perhaps as well as we would have liked, but if you’re concerned it may impact on your future career then you don’t need to worry…well not as much anyway.

Whilst giving a bad reference isn’t strictly illegal, a false reference is considered libellous. This means that employers must be prepared to defend their reference in court and with evidence. Take our advice and read up on your working rights, and perhaps try not to annoy your employer especially if you want to use them as a reference further down the line.

Being Drunk in a Pub

You may not go to the pub with the intention of getting drunk, but it’s most likely on the agenda – even if you’re only going for a couple. We’ve all muttered that infamous phrase, only to be greeted by the world’s worst hangover the next day.

Unlucky if you’re the pub owner or manager as this law means you have to decide who’s drunk and who isn’t. The law states that the owner shouldn’t permit ‘drunkenness or other disorderly conduct’ – keep things sensible folks or you risk breaking the law and being thrown out of your local.

Stay on the right side of the law and ready up on these rather crazy rules!

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