How to avoid costly fines while having fun in London

London is a perfect destination if you feel like having a little fun. With nearly 9 million citizens, London is a diverse city full of excitement that gathers people of different races, ethnicity, and religion from all over the world. Here, you can have the most incredible time of your life as the city boasts many incredible attractions, cuisine as diverse as its populace, a hot party scene and a plethora of local events.

However, it’s very easy to get lost in the heat of the moment. And though a little party never killed anybody, it certainly might encourage some rule-breaking. Unfortunately, if you receive a costly fine, you’ll have to pay for your mistakes. That’s not the grand finale you’d want for your trip.

The easiest way to avoid paying a fine is to simply not commit any offences. This is why you might want to read a little bit more about the rules regarding public order. To help you, we have tried to put down some of the examples.

Smoking Fines

Since 2007, smoking in all enclosed and substantially enclosed public places and workplaces has been banned. It means that you cannot smoke in restaurants, pubs, clubs, or pavilions. If you’re an avid smoker that enjoys a cigarette in a social setting, you might want to watch out.

If you forget yourself and light a cig in a non-smoke zone, you might be fined with a fixed penalty notice of £50, with the possibility of the payment dropping to £30 if paid within 15 days of being issued. Still, as long as you make sure to be outside, no police officer can punish you for smoking.

Additionally, you should remember that even though vaping is believed to be less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes, it isn’t legal everywhere. Whenever you’re travelling, you probably should check the vaping regulations of your destination. Luckily, in England, there are no official laws that forbid using e-cigarettes in public places; yet, some owners might include them in their no-smoking policy.

Driving Fines

If you feel that you’re a competent enough driver to fare the London roads, you might want to decide to drive in your car. This way you wouldn’t have to use overcrowded public transportation to reach your next city attraction. However, you probably should be mindful of the road rules, that you could unintentionally break in a city as jammed as London.

Unfortunately, one venture into the city might end with several costly fines as each violation is strictly punished. For example, driving through a red light may cost up to £1,000, whereas no seatbelt could lead to a £500 fine. Moreover, if a police officer sees that you are using a phone while driving, it’ll be another £1,000 out of your pocket.

Parking Fines

In such a populated city as London, you will quickly discover that space is scarce and expensive, especially when it comes to parking. So you might give way to the little devil on your shoulder and park on the pavement since it’s not particularly illegal in England. You just have to check that you don’t obstruct the way for pedestrians. Still, there is a small exception.

According to rule 244 of the Highway Code, it is forbidden to park partially or wholly on the pavement in London unless signs permit it. The ban also includes grass verges, alleys, and ramps to people’s driveways. This is only one of the examples, but believe us, there are many more situations where you could receive a parking fine. In London, they typically cost between £80 and £130. You’ll only have to pay half the fee if you manage to do it within 14 days of issuing the fine.

Public Transport Fines

London has one of the most efficient transport networks in the world which allows you to navigate the city with relative ease. As long as you purchase an appropriate ticket, you might board the bus, the Tube, tram, train, etc. However, without a valid ticket, you’ll be subjected to a penalty fare of £80, which you can reduce to £40 if you pay within 21 days.

That’s why you should be careful while buying one since you might be penalised for the wrong ticket. Make sure to confirm it covers your entire journey and all zones you’ll travel in. If you use an Oyster card, make sure to touch in and out correctly or that it has enough credit to pay for your entire journey.

Drunk and Disorderly

You don’t need booze to have a great time with your mates, but it certainly makes you let loose and forget about the stress of everyday life. If your idea of fun is partying far into the night, you might have that pint of beer and some more. Just remember that moderation is key since losing too many inhibitions may result in a fine and a lovely stay at a police station until you sober up.

According to the law, any public behaviour considered obscene, disgusting, or shocking is punishable. If the drunken ‘you’ decides to take a swim in the public fountain, you shouldn’t be surprised the next day, seeing a fine of £80 since this is the penalty for disorderly behaviour. Moreover, should you feel the need to relieve yourself in public, hopefully not, you will also be fined up to £80. In the end, it’s better for you to save face and your wallet, hence you might think twice before ordering another drink.

Littering Fines

Most of the time, you might not even realize that you’re littering. You simply throw away an empty can or plastic bottle without thinking where it’s going to land. Still, your actions have consequences, and you’ll have to pay for them.

Littering is a serious crime in London. It involves dropping, leaving, or throwing any kind of waste or rubbish, including chewing gum and cigarette buds, in the street or other public places. The penalty for this act may amount to £150 and must be settled within 14 days.

In Conclusion

We have shown you some of the most common offences people are being fined for in London. But remember, this is just a shortlist. There are more rules that you might want to obey, especially when it comes to public order. You don’t want to spend your vacation in London paying off your mistakes. At least, not because you were unaware or you couldn’t restrain yourself from enjoying a smoke.

Fines for breaking them might cost you dearly, so don’t let yourself get carried away by the heat of the moment. That’s why it’s better to read up on the laws of the city before you go there. This way, you’ll have a safe and enjoyable stay.

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