Breaking the Law – How We All Do It Every Day

We all think of ourselves as law abiding citizens. According to a poll by, the average person commits around seven crimes per week. “Surely they must be talking about other people – I don’t break the law,” you tell yourself. But, when was the last time you exceeded the speed limit? Do you text while driving? How about talk on your phone while driving? Other common offenses include dropping litter, downloading music illegally and not wearing a seat belt.

Remarkably, twenty percent (20%) of people surveyed don’t believe what they do is illegal because, “everyone else does it.” That excuse gets you nowhere when in court for a ticket. A total of fifty-eight percent (58%) view breaking the law as “OK” if the crimes are minor. Interestingly, more than one third of people are not bothered at all that they break the law. John Sewell, spokesman for, which carried out the poll, said: “It’s worrying to think that so many people are breaking the law on a daily basis. . . . and it’s an even bigger concern that many aren’t at all bothered about it. ” He goes on, “but these so-called minor crimes are committed so regularly, they have almost become legal, which seems to be the reason so many people aren’t fazed when they do break the law.”

The poll of 5,000 people revealed speeding as the most common crime, with forty-six percent (46%) of people admitting to driving over the speed limit. Judging from personal experience, this seems a bit low. Another forty percent (40%) text or talk while driving while thirty-six percent (36%) drop litter. Thirty-five percent (35%) admit to getting their music by downloading it from illegal websites. Nineteen percent (19%) of people admit to taking illegal drugs and another eighteen percent (18%) don’t bother to wear their seat belt in a car, which is bad news if you are in a car accident.

The results of the poll include some obvious crimes as well as rather surprising ones. The top 20 crimes we commit:

1. Speeding
2. Talking/texting while driving
3. Dropping litter
4. Illegally downloading music
5. Riding a bicycle on the sidewalk
6. Eating or drinking while driving
7. Having sex in a public place
8. Illegally parking
9. Taking illicit/illegal drugs
10. Not wearing a seat belt
11. Having sex under the age of 16
12. Parking on double yellow lines
13. Bicycling without lights after dark
14. Not cleaning up after your dog
15. Smoking in a public place
16. Driving through a red light
17. Stealing cable TV
18. Not changing your address on your license
19. Taking a child out of school without permission
20. Carrying a weapon

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