Strange Driving Laws. Driving laws in Asia, Europe, and America.

Strange Driving Laws

Driving abroad can be a stressful experience, especially when you are on the left-hand side of the car driving on the right side of the road. As if it wasn't enough to be in an unfamiliar driving position, there are some places in the world with some utterly bizarre driving laws that you should definitely be aware of.

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The following is a lot of things that are forbidden, and punishable by law, from around the world:

Asia

We'll begin our tour of the world's weirdest driving laws by examining some odd rules to abide by in Asian countries

  • No splashing in Japan. In a traditional display of Japanese courtesy, it is against the law to splash mud or water on a pedestrian.

Splashing in Japan

  • Being a pedestrian is good in Japan, but not so much in China, and Beijing in particular, where it is illegal to stop for pedestrians.
  • Never travel topless in Thailand. This applies to men and women and all motorists whether you're driving a bike, car or tuk-tuk.
  • In Manila, Philippines, you cannot drive on Mondays if your number plate ends in a 1 or 2

Europe

As crazy as the rules are in America, there are some strange ones to get your head around on our own continent:

  • Finland - Playing music in a taxi without an appropriate licence
  • Cleanliness is close to Godliness in Moscow where you can be slapped with a fine for having a dirty car.

Dirty car in russia

  • France - Not carrying an alcohol breathalyser test kit
  • In Denmark. Starting your car without checking lights, brakes, steering and horn. You are also obliged to check for children that may be hiding underneath your car before setting off on your journey.
  • It is illegal to eat or drink anything while driving in Cyprus
  • Italy Driving through an historic zone (Zona Traffico Limitata) without a special permit
  • In Switzerland, you can't wash your car on a Sunday.
  • Spain Driving without a spare pair of spectacles in the car.
  • In typical German fashion, your car must be efficient and it is strictly illegal to stop or break down for any reason on the autobahn (which includes being out of fuel).
  • Switzerland - Washing a car on a Sunday.

America

The biggest list of weird driving laws comes from America, and because it is such a big country, it is bound to have some bonkers driving rules, a lot of which come from California.

In California it is illegal:


Sleeping on the road

  • To use a road as a bed.
  • To jump from a car at 65mph.
  • For an unoccupied vehicle to exceed 60mph.
  • To buff or dry your car with used underwear, in San Francisco specifically.
  • To drive wearing a dressing gown if you are a woman. California has a dress code when it comes to women behind the wheel. It's actually illegal for a woman to drive wearing a bathrobe.
  • Shoot an animal from your car, unless it is a whale (this law is also applicable in Tennessee).

In other American states:

  • Alabama - Driving while blindfolded.
  • Alaska - Tethering a dog to the roof of a car.
  • Arkansas – Sounding a car horn where ice-cold beverages or sandwiches are served after 9 p.m.
  • Connecticut- Hunting from cars is illegal.
  • Florida – Leaving an elephant, goat or alligator tied to a parking meter without paying the fee
  • Georgia - driving through playgrounds.
  • Kansas – Transporting dead poultry along Kansas Avenue, Topeka
  • Kentucky - You’ll be fined if your pet molests a vehicle.
  • Maryland ( Rockville ) – swearing from a vehicle
  • In Maine, you can't park in front of a Dunkin' Donuts.
  • Massachusetts - operating a car with a gorilla in the backseat.
  • Minnesota (Minnetonka) – Driving a truck that leaves mud, dirt or sticky substances on any road
  • Missouri – Sounding the horn of someone else’s car.
  • New Jersey – Passing another car without sounding your horn.
  • New York (Sag Harbor)- Disrobing while in your car
  • North Carolina (Dunn) – Playing in Traffic and driving through a cemetery if you’re not there to dig a grave or bury someone.
  • Oklahoma – reading a comic book while driving.
  • Oregon - leaving your car door open longer than is deemed necessary.
  • Rhode Island (Scituate) -driving with beer in your vehicle even if it is unopened
  • South Carolina (Hilton Head)- storing rubbish in your vehicle
  • West Virginia- scavenging roadkill

Rest of the World

These last two come from Africa and the Middle East respectively to round off the crazy road laws that exist in the world:

  • Motorists face stiff fines if they fail to slow down or stop for passing herds of livestock in South Africa. Not stopping when herders signal that they need to cross the road with their goats, pigs, mules, ass, horses, or other animals.
  • Possibly the most backward law of all belongs to Saudi Arabia where it is the only country that women are not allowed to drive, but they are permitted to own a car.