Strange British Laws

I just read a very interesting article from Simpson Millar about 'Driving on the right side of the law', the article (found here) had a section titled '5 Driving laws you may not know you are breaking' which I found particularly interesting to read mostly because I actually didn't know that it was illegal to drive around with a 'For sale' sign in your car!.. I guess maybe because it could be quite distracting to other drivers? Luckily I don't think it's something I've ever done, but it's nice to learn something new everyday!

Further down the article I came across a section titled, '3 of the wackiest driving laws in the UK', which again made for very interesting reading. Did you know that.. 

1. Drivers in the UK are legally allowed to relieve themselves by the road if they are bedsides the cars rear tyre and have their right hand touching the car. (WHAAT?!). 
2. It is illegal to hail a cab in London if you are suffering from the plague 
3. London taxis are legally required to carry a bale of hay and a sack of oats at all times.

I did not know any of those! Did you? And then I started to get really interested in crazy British laws and so I had a bit of a google and came across these somewhat mad British laws which made me laugh out loud. So I thought I'd share..

  • It is still an offence to beat or shake any carpet rug or mat in any street in the Metropolitan Police District, although you are allowed to shake a doormat before 8am. (okaay then!)
  • It is an offence to be intoxicated and in charge of a cow in Scotland. (nice to know!) 
  • It is illegal to wilfully and wantonly disturb people by ringing their doorbells or knocking at their doors. (err?) 
  • It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament in a suit of amour or die there. (so if you die there you've broken the law.. but you can't be punished for breaking the law.. because, well, you're dead?)
  • It is illegal to keep a pigsty in front of your house (unless duly hidden). (damn!) 
  • Placing a postage stamp that bears the Queen (or King) upside down is considered treason. (whoops!) 
  • It is an offence for the keeper of a place of public resort to permit drunkenness in the house. (what the?) 
  • Under the terms of the Polish Potatoes (Notification) in England Order - 2004: No person shall, in the course of business, import into England potatoes which he knows to be or has reasonable cause to suspect to be Polish potatoes. (I have no words..) 
  • It is illegal to handle a salmon in a suspicious circumstance. (And.. I still have no words..) 
  • It is illegal under the terms of the Prohibition and Inspections Act of 1998 to cause a nuclear explosion. (well, thank god for that -finally, a law that makes actual sense!).
So there you go - strange British laws, that if you didn't know about before, you certainly do now. (So now there will be no excuse when you're caught handling a salmon suspiciously or when you're caught importing in to England what you 'suspect to be' a Polish potato!).  



  1. Omg haha I haven't heard neither of these laws. They sound so silly haha x

  2. Very interesting....I did know the one about placing a stamp upside down. Very odd.

  3. Ha ha! I studied law and have never heard of these. We just learned about the boring ones ;) Great post! x

  4. The one I like that's current law but about to be amended is that you can't currently claim government compensation if your car is damaged in a riot - because cars hadn't been invented when the relevant act was made law!!

  5. Lol these are hilarious! I always love the one about a pregnant woman being legally allowed to "relieve herself" in a policemans hat...im always tempted to try that one when I`m pregnant lol xx

  6. That's odd as hell. Especially the stamp one.

  7. Gotta watch out for those Polish potatoes! LOL.

  8. These are the only laws I've never heard of!!! Lol