The long arm of the law
We all know that drinking and driving and sending children up chimneys is wrong, but can you guess how recently the Government had to legislate against them?
One for the road
The blood alcohol limit for drivers was only introduced in January 1966 after a continued rise in the number of road accidents. It set the limit of 80mg of alcohol in 100cc of blood. The breathalyser was introduced a year later.
Speed limits are a contentious issue today and when they were first introduced in the mid-1800s they varied from 2-10mph and in 1931 were even briefly abolished entirely before a 30mph limit was introduced in 1934. However, it was all rather academic, as speedometers were only made compulsory in new cars in 1937.
Back in 1821, around 49 per cent of the UK workforce were under 20 years of age, with some as young as five. But the 1833 Factory Act made it illegal for textile factories to employ children younger than nine. And in 1870, the Education Act put in place the building blocks for free compulsory education, meaning children went to school instead of work.
It was only in 1908 that the Children and Young Persons Act banned the sale of alcohol and tobacco to children. In 1997, the Confiscation of Alcohol (Young Persons) Act allowed police to confiscate alcohol from under 18s drinking in public places.
On 4 December 1961, the birth control pill was made available to all on the National Health Service. Invented by Carl Djerassi in Mexico in 1951, the number of women under 25 having babies fell from 47 per cent in 1971