The Average Brit Unknowingly Breaks the Law 32 Times Every Year

Did you know that you could be breaking the law without even realising? You’re not the only one! In fact, a recent survey has found that Brits unknowingly break the law a massive 32 TIMES every year, despite the majority of us classing ourselves as law abiding citizens.

The survey, which was carried out on behalf of BT, found that as many as 48% of us break the law by singing Happy Birthday in a public place, such as a restaurant. The song is actually copyrighted and owned so a private company so in theory, anyone wanting to perform a public performance that includes the song should have to pay!

Another common law that we break on a regular basis is swearing or gesturing to other road users (a key part of road rage!), while another 36% break the law by vacuuming after 1pm on weekends.

Despite this, across the country, 60% of respondents said that it bothers then when they see somebody else breaking the law, even if it’s a small act. We are reported to spot adults doing something they shouldn’t four times a day, but only 10% of those people would ever confront the offender.

The 40 “small laws” most-broken (bizzare ones, included!) are as follows:

  1. Singing Happy Birthday in a restaurant
  2. Drinking alcohol under the age of 18
  3. Sworn or gestured to other users of the road
  4. Vacuuming between the hours of 6pm and 8am on a weekday, or between 1pm and 8pm at the weekend
  5. Partially parking on a pavement
  6. Cycling on the pavement
  7. Speeding whilst driving
  8. Beeping a horn for any reason other than alerting traffic
  9. Being drunk on the street, or in a pub or restaurant
  10. Eating or drinking whilst driving
  11. Pocketing change when given wrong amount
  12. Changing a CD whilst driving
  13. Having sex in a public place
  14. Purchasing cigarettes under the age of 18
  15. Dropping litter
  16. Taking illegal drugs
  17. Disturbing people by ringing their doorbells / knocking at their doors and leaving before being answered
  18. Not wearing a seatbelt during a car journey
  19. Flying a kite in a park
  20. Using a fake name on the internet
  21. Sticking a postage stamp upside down
  22. Using a mobile phone while driving
  23. Cycling without lights after dark
  24. Parking on double yellow lines
  25. Driving through a red light
  26. Not paying for a carrier bag at a self-service check-out
  27. Having sex when you were under 16 years of age
  28. Not having a TV license and watching TV
  29. Using someone else’s Wi-Fi without them knowing
  30. Smoking in a non-smoking area
  31. Throwing tree cuttings back over your neighbours’ garden
  32. Claiming an item at the self-service till without paying for it
  33. Taking a child out of school for a holiday without the head teacher’s permission
  34. Not informing the DVLA of a change of name or address
  35. Not cleaning up after your dog has pooed on the street/public path
  36. Cycling through a red light
  37. Fiddling your expenses
  38. Sung or chanted a crude football chant in the street
  39. Gone fishing without a license
  40. Parking opposite a junction
  41. Puting make-up on while driving
  • Elise Dopson is a freelance writer and blogger. She shares tips on how start, market and run a successful freelance business on her blog. 📧 Contact: elise@newsanyway.com

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