Things you mustn’t do!

5 Sep

The law has protected pedestrians and other road users over the years from virtually every intrusion into the footway and carriageway except that caused by parked cars. There are some gems contained within section 28 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847, all of which carry fines of up to £1,000 and a stay in prison of up to 14 days if one is found to have caused an obstruction, annoyance, or danger. Major sins include beating one’s doormat in the street after 8am and fastening a horse so that it stands across the footway. Those at risk include everyone who…

  • Causes any sledge, truck, or barrow to stand longer than is necessary on the highway for loading or unloading goods, or for taking up or setting down passengers (except hackney carriages or ‘public carriages’ but then only in designated places)
  • Places or leaves any furniture, goods, wares, or merchandize, or any cask, tub, basket, pail, or bucket on any footway
  • Hangs up any goods, wares, merchandize, matter, or thing whatsoever, so that the same project into or over any footway, or beyond the line of any house, shop, or building so as to obstruct or incommode the passage of any person over or along such footway
  • Places any blind, shade, covering, awning, or other projection over or along any such footway, unless such blind, shade, covering, awning, or other projection is eight feet in height at least in every part thereof from the ground:
  • Fixes or places any flower-pot or box, or other heavy article, in any upper window, without sufficiently guarding the same against being blown down:
  • Throws or lays any dirt, litter, or ashes, or nightsoil, or any carrion, fish, offal, or rubbish, on any street, or causes any offensive matter to run from any manufactory, brewery, slaughter-house, butcher’s shop, or dunghill into any street.
  • Beats or shakes any carpet, rug, or mat (except door mats, beaten or shaken before the hour of eight in the morning):
  • Fastens any horse or other animal so that it stands across or upon any footway
  • Rolls or carries any cask, tub, hoop, or wheel, or any ladder, plank, pole, timber, or log of wood, upon any footway
  • Cleanses, hoops, fires, washes, or scalds any cask or tub, or hews, saws, bores, or cuts any timber or stone, or slacks, sifts, or screens any lime:
  • Makes or repairs any part of any cart or carriage (except in cases of accident where repair on the spot is necessary)
  • Keeps any pigstye to the front of any street, not being shut out from such street by a sufficient wall or fence, or who keeps any swine in or near any street, so as to be a common nuisance
  • Cleans, dresses, exercises, trains or breaks, or turns loose any horse or animal
  • Shoes, bleeds, or farries any horse or animal (except in cases of accident)
  • Slaughters any cattle, except in the case of any cattle over-driven which may have met with any accident

So… it appears that if the Mercedes was a horse or indeed any of the following (barrow, basket, bucket, cask, furniture, goods, horse, merchandize, pail, sledge, truck, tub) and if it was found to have caused obstruction, annoyance, or danger then the owner would be liable for a fine or up the £1,000 or even up to 14 days in prison!

500mm between these two cars

3 Responses to “Things you mustn’t do!”

  1. livinginabox September 5, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Seems like a great deal of obsolete legislation, it’s about time we had timeless legislation that removes the specifics and replace the wording with something like ‘any object likely to cause an obstruction’.

    Perhaps I’m being obtuse, but much of the wording of legislation that I am aware of appears to be purely devised to make more work for lawyers.

    As an example: Until recently, LEDs were illegal as a light source for bicycle lighting, purely because they weren’t filament bulbs.

    • Peter Miller September 5, 2011 at 10:57 am #

      You mean like this one: “a person deposits any thing whatsoever on a highway to the interruption of any user of the highway without lawful authority or excuse or if the thing constitutes a nuisance or constitutes a danger to users of the highway (including a danger caused by obstructing the view)” Highways Act 1980 ( Section 148 and Section 149) See law section for more details. I am still not convinced that a car is not a ‘thing’ in the law.

      • livinginabox September 12, 2011 at 8:53 am #

        “I am still not convinced that a car is not a ‘thing’ in the law.”

        I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that a car is defined as not being a ‘thing’, in other contradictory legislation.

        As I see it, English Law seems so drafted that given a good enough Lawyer, one can weasel out of almost anything. In effect it’s discrimination against those without deep-pockets [most of us]. If one has deep-pockets, one can often pretty-well do as one pleases.

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