5 Laws That Are Most Commonly Broken

Did you know that some laws are commonly broken by people in every country? Although they may seem like common sense, people still break them every day.

Don’t be surprised. You might be a culprit too. But, how would you know?

Let’s walk you through five of the most commonly violated laws around the world.

Texting & Driving

As LY Lawyers explain, one of the most commonly broken driving laws is also one of the most dangerous — using a mobile phone while driving.

While this law varies by country, it is illegal to use any type of device in most US states while operating a vehicle. It’s also illegal to text message, talk on the phone, and even use the GPS on your phone when driving.

The reason is pretty obvious — using a mobile phone while driving is distracting and can lead to accidents. In 2019 alone, distracted drivers were the cause of 3100 fatalities and more than 400,000 injuries in the US.

So, make sure you never text and drive simultaneously and are always aware of your surroundings.

It’s especially important to be aware of driving laws when traveling to another country. If you’re not, you might end up with heavy fines, jail time, or both. And it will be very confusing and difficult to navigate through a foreign legal system. This makes local law one of the most important things to learn before traveling to a foreign country.

Littering

Be it America, the UK, Australia, or UAE, littering is unlawful in most countries, and you could get heavily fined for it.

Littering fines start at around $300 and go up to $2000 or more (in case of industrial littering). Many strict countries pair fines with community service and jail time too.

Still, littering remains one of the most commonly broken laws worldwide. Cigarette butts, food wrappers, and plastic bottles make up most of the waste and litter in any country.

Due to its negative environmental and tourism impact, governments and administrations try to keep people from littering and casually disposing of waste.

China deserves a special mention here, as it is wisely dealing with its waste problem despite generating more waste than any other country.

Jaywalking

Jaywalking is another commonly broken law, especially in larger cities. Jaywalking occurs when a pedestrian crosses the street outside of a marked crosswalk.

In the US, jaywalking laws vary by state, and not knowing them could get you in trouble. Here are a few scenarios that might count as jaywalking:

  • not following a pedestrian walk signal
  • crossing a street with no crosswalk (midblock crossing)
  • crossing a street outside the marked crosswalk (universal example)
  • walking down the street with the traffic flow (and ignoring designated pedestrian pathways).

The police can give you a warning or issue a citation if you get caught jaywalking in front of them. The fine is usually around $30 to $50 but can be much higher depending on the state or country.

Regardless of how low or high the fine is, remember that jaywalking can be extremely dangerous, as it puts both pedestrians and passengers at risk.

Speeding

This one shouldn’t come as a surprise. Speeding is another common law that is casually broken worldwide. Speeding tickets are also one of the most common traffic tickets (besides parking tickets).

People often think that exceeding the speed limit by a little bit won’t do any harm, “after all, everyone’s doing it!”

But this is far from reality. Speeding is one of the leading causes of car accidents and fatalities and is a punishable offense.

Although speed limits and fines vary by country, you’ll almost always get a speeding ticket if you’re caught driving over the limit anywhere in the world.

Fun fact: There is no national speed limit on parts of the Isle of Man and some highways in Germany.

Gambling

Gambling is legal in many countries, but it is usually restricted by age or location. You usually can’t gamble if you’re below 18 in most countries. And even if you’re over 18, you’re restricted to casinos and licensed premises. 

But this is another frequently broken law as illegal gambling still takes place in many countries. For example, illegal casinos, cockfighting, and bookmaking are common in the Philippines, probably so the tourists don’t stop visiting.

At the same time, some countries like Singapore take it much more seriously and have strict gambling laws in place. Similarly, online poker in the United States has been under scrutiny and is still not legal in many states. 

So, be very careful before placing that bet! We recommend playing it safe and trying different poker styles at home instead of playing it online or at an unlicensed place.

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