Road laws

The Road Laws you didn’t know you’re Breaking!

After news broke of Dominic Cummings driving to Durham and breaking lockdown rules there has been a lot of speculation into the case, with questions now being raised as to whether he also broke the highway code by claiming he was testing his eyesight. 

Following this, Click4Reg discovered that there has been a 3900% increase in searches for ‘Highway Code eyesight requirements’, showing that many Brits are uncertain of the rules too.

With over 300 laws and counting in the Highway Code, Click4Reg were eager to determine how much the public actually know about the Highway Code, and which rules are most frequently breached by surveying 1,470 Brits.

Interestingly, a whopping 98% of respondents know that driving with uncorrected defective eyesight is an active law in the Highway Code, with only 3% admitting to breaking this rule.

Law/RulePercentage AwarePercentage Guilty
Using phone to pay at drive-through2186
Swearing/aggressive behaviour4663
Beeping horn whilst stationary3062
Driving over 30mph on street-lit road4859
Fitting sat nav to wrong part of windscreen1557
Unnecessarily loud music3955
Leaving a car idling2444
Driving with unrestrained pets3343
Hogging middle lane of motorway5942
Allowing a baby to be cradled whilst car is moving5640
Eating/drinking/applying makeup at the wheel5839
Leaving a car whilst stationary on single yellow4637
Sleeping in car whilst drunk1333
Splashing pedestrians1833
Using unfixed mobile as a sat nav6129
Dirt-obscured view of number plates7328
Not clearing snow from roof/ice from windscreens6219
Driving too slowly6813
Flashing cars to alert them of speed traps3711
Resting on hard shoulder717
Driving with uncorrected defective eyesight983

Five most broken rules:

  1. Using phone to pay at drive-through – 86%
  2. Swearing/aggressive behaviour – 63%
  3. Beeping horn whilst stationary – 62%
  4.  Driving over 30mph on street lit road – 59%
  5.  Fitting a sat nav to the wrong part of your windscreen – 57%

Five least known rules:

  1. Sleeping in car whilst drunk – 13%
  2. Fitting a sat nav to the wrong part of your windscreen – 15%
  3. Using phone to pay at drive through – 21% 
  4. Leaving car idling – 24% 
  5. Beeping horn whilst stationary – 30%  

By far, the rule most broken is using a phone to pay at drive-throughs. Using a phone behind the wheel is a known offence which apparently doesn’t seem to apply when you’re hungry. Only 21% were aware it was illegal and a whopping 86% admitted to doing it.

To the displeasure of hot-heads, you can be prosecuted for being overly aggressive behind the wheelAs the second most broken rule, only 46% knew this and 63% admit to doing it.

Road signal

Similarly, beeping the horn whilst stationary (unless for a valid reason) can also get you into trouble. Only 30% knew this wasn’t allowed, and 62% have done it, placing it in third.

Considering the bottom of the table, drivers are most confident with driving with uncorrected defective eyesight. 98% knew this isn’t allowed, and thankfully only 3% have.

Brits are also disciplined when it comes to alerting other drivers of speed cameras/traps. While only 37% knew you can’t do this, only 11% have actually done it.

And similarly, driving too slowly doesn’t appear to be an issue. 68% of respondents knew this was against the highway code, and only 13% have done so.

Note: This survey was updated by Click4Reg and completed from May 25th to 27th 2020 with 1,470 respondents aged 17-60.

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