Law & Legal & Attorney International Law

United Kingdom Driving Laws

    Speed Limits

    • In the United Kingdom there are a number of speed limits that vary depending on the road you are on and the driving conditions. The fastest you can drive is 70 miles per hour and this is only allowed on the country's motorways, the network of multiple-lane highways that connect many of the United Kingdom's major cities and towns. Within towns and cities are two-lane roads known as dual carriageways. On these the speed limit can range from 40 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour, while on residential roads and single-lane roads the speed limit is 30 miles per hour. Under special conditions such as torrential rain or heavy fog speed limits may be altered to reflect the conditions. Motorway speed limits may change to 50 miles per hour, carriageways to 30 and residential roads to 20 if necessary. All speed limits are posted on signs in prominent places along the roadside.

    Cell Phones

    • It is illegal to use a cell phone--known as a mobile phone in the UK--while you are driving. This is a strict law that is enforced in the United Kingdom and for drivers caught using their phone whilst driving there can be heavy fines and license endorsements. Be aware that you are still considered to be driving your car even when you are stationary and the engine is running, or stuck in a slow moving traffic jam; using your phone during these times is still illegal. There is a way to legally use your phone whilst driving and that is to connect it to one of the many approved hands-free phone kits that are sold in UK stores. This will allow you to talk and drive without breaking the law.

    Lane Discipline

    • In the United Kingdom when you are driving on a multiple-lane road such as a motorway or a dual carriageway you must remain in the left-hand lane unless you are overtaking. You cannot pass a car in the left-hand lane as this is strictly for the slower moving traffic; neither can you use the hard shoulder for anything other than an emergency. If you are a on a motorway with more than two lanes you must overtake in the lane immediately to your right. If the traffic in this lane is moving too slow you may then proceed to the next lane on your right to overtake when it is safe to do so. Once you have passed the cars you must return to the left-hand lane when it is safe to do so.

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