When the automobile was invented and it started garnering mass appeal the world over, a need for rules to regulate the ever-increasing car traffic became imperative. This saw the constitution of the first ever traffic laws, one of the most famous being that any person driving his/her car back in the 1900s was required to have a man walking with a red flag right in front of him. From its description alone, this law, which was among the first in automobile legal history, was quite bizarre. But it did not end there.
Within the same period, another law came up that limited cars to speeds not exceeding 20 miles per hour. Back then, the legislatures saw this as the maximum possible safe speed a car could travel. Fast forward slightly over a century later, and man has still not left his habit of making some very weird traffic laws.
In an effort to govern the operation and use of the modern car, legislatures have stretched themselves over the limit so as to formulate laws that will apparently make the roads safer. Most of these laws are nothing out of the ordinary. But as the list below will show you, there are some traffic laws that you cannot help but wonder who proposed them in the first place.
15. You must check for children and other objects under the car before you start your engine
This crazy law is found in Denmark. Apparently, legislatures designed it to protect mechanics who may be working underneath a car. But it’s not the mechanics alone that they look after. The legislatures also claim that children playing hide and seek may also be in harm’s way.
Therefore, every driver is expected to check underneath his/her car before he/she starts the engine. If you don’t follow this law, you can be fined at least 1000 Kroner. One can only imagine the pain of bending over your car at the parking lot in the evening after a very hectic day just to look for kids and mechanics who are nonexistent.
14. It’s a crime to drive blindfolded in Alabama
It is, by common sense, insane to drive while you have obscured your eyesight, but someone in Alabama apparently finds this an ideal driving challenge (well, at least to the lawmakers). For this reason, the government in Alabama has a law that makes driving while blindfolded illegal.
The law is found in section 32-5A-53. Apparently, if you are ever caught doing this offence, you can serve serious jail time. Before you dismiss this law as stupid, according to reports, there are people who have actually been charged for breaking this law.
13. You should not ride shotgun if drunk in Macedonia
It is a global law that drinking and driving is illegal. However, the government of Macedonia has taken this law a little bit further. According to the legislature, if you are visibly under the influence, then you should not be seen anywhere on the front seat of a vehicle. This includes riding shotgun.
According to their reasoning, having a drunk person next to the driver, let alone the driver’s seat, is totally useless and distracting. The drunk person cannot even help the driver with navigation to his/her own home. That said, it seems pretty much useless to hire a cab to take you home after a night out in Macedonia. The driver may be too scared to ask you questions and end up leaving you in a ditch in some dingy neighborhood.
12. In Cyprus, you should not drink anything while driving – even water
Cyprus seems to be so strict when it comes to handling fluids while at the wheel. According to their traffic law, you should not be spotted drinking anything while you are driving. The only thing that is supposed to be taking fluid is your car engine (fuel to keep you moving), but anything else apart from that is outlawed.
This controversial law states that if you must drink anything, then you must pull over and sip your orange juice while parked. When the police nab you, they won’t care if you were dying out of thirst from the hot Cypriot sun and you just had to sip some water.
11. It is illegal to drive a dirty car in Russia and Dubai
Russians have no tolerance for dirty vehicles. The Kremlin has a strict law that people adhere to that forbids them from driving a dirty vehicle. Breaking this law can have you fined up to $4,000. But this law is not only applicable to the Russians.
Dubai citizens are also subject to similar laws, but with a slight twist. If you are to wash your car, you should not do so with water not fetched from your home. Now it makes sense why all these videos of Dubai traffic look so clean.
10. You should not store rubbish in your car in Hilton Head, South Carolina
Hilton Head has (or apparently had) such a serious rat problem that South Carolina legislature just had to find a way of controlling the number of these rodents in the state. However, they did not formulate a law that would target the average home. Instead, they instructed that no car in South Carolina should have a rubbish bin in it, (especially if it’s a convertible – go figure).
The tale is that these rodents get their dinner from these rubbish bins that, as per the government that formulated this law, makes the rats common sight in most cars within the state. Does this sound preposterous? Yes. Every bit of it.
9. It’s illegal to drive on a Monday in Manila
If your license plates end with a 1 or 2 and you live in Manila, then Mondays must be your happy days. According to a very bizarre traffic law in the city, cars with plates ending with a 1 or 2 should not be driven on the streets on a Monday – giving the perfect excuse for absconding work.
The perceived problem, or should we say the blessing, with trying to get around this law is that you can never escape the eyes of traffic police who will be busy controlling the crazy Monday traffic. So, instead of landing yourself some hefty fines, just stay at home, read a newspaper, and blame the cops for extending your weekend.
8. You should not spit from a vehicle, not unless it’s a truck
Lawmakers in Georgia really took their time to formulate what is the most disturbing and disgusting traffic law in the state. According to the law they delightfully put into action, no passenger or driver is allowed to spit from a moving car or bus, not unless it’s a truck.
Why truck drivers alone? Well, only the lawmakers know, but if you are caught spreading your saliva all over the road from a car or bus, be prepared to face the jury. Apparently, there are people who have been caught in the act and ended up being victims of the bizarre law.
7. In Japan, you will be fined for splashing muddy water on a pedestrian
The Japanese don’t take wardrobe messes, especially those caused by careless motorists, lightly. According to this law in their barrage of traffic laws, splashing water on a pedestrian, whether knowingly or unknowingly, will directly land you a fine. How much? Well, nothing less than $65.
It is therefore obligatory that you stay away from mud pools or water pools whenever you are driving. Most people find themselves in trouble when it starts pouring down heavily, and you have to avoid every hidden water pool on the road. If you are not careful enough and you drench someone with water splashed by your car tires, the victim can report you and have you arrested and fined.
6. Your chicken should not cross the road in Georgia
“Why did the chicken cross the road? Because it was trying to break the law.” That is the state of affairs in Georgia. According to the traffic laws in Quitman, Georgia, your poultry should not be found carelessly strolling by the roadside, let alone trying to cross the road.
If the chicken has to move to the other side, this controversial law, that is still in the books, suggests that the owner must be present to guide the poultry through. If that is not the case, then the culprits will have to face the jury. Which raises the question – will they arrest the chicken or the farmer? That’s for you to figure out.
5. It is illegal to run out of gas in the Autobahn
The Autobahn is inarguably the world’s best highway. But interestingly, it is home to one of the world’s most bizarre traffic laws. According to the decorated legislature of Germany, it is a crime to run out of gas while driving on the Autobahn. The punishment for this crime of disgracing the super German highway is a barrage of rather hefty fines.
As per the spirit of the Autobahn, you should always have your eyes on the road as you are cruising at about 100 km per hour. However, putting this law in mind, you have to dedicate one eye to observing the needle lest you disgrace yourself in the middle of the highway.
4. You should not have a gorilla in the backseat in Massachusetts
This flat out qualifies to be the most bizarre traffic law in the United States of America. According to Massachusetts’ traffic laws, it is illegal to have a gorilla sitting in the backseat while you are driving. The origins of this law are not quite clear, but as per the interpretation of the lawmakers, most car owners at some point must have had a habit of carrying gorillas in their backseats.
This law is quite ambiguous as it does not restrict one from having the gorilla seated in the front seat. Therefore, if you hand your gorilla friend the wheel, or at least have it ride shotgun, then you should have no problem with the law! (I guess).
3. You should pay packing fees for your elephant
You would expect such a crazy law to exist in India, but then, you would be wrong. This crazy law actually exists in Florida. According to the law, should you tie your elephant to the parking meter, then you would have to pay for its parking fees on the meter.
It is unclear whether this law was created in order to discourage elephant riders from taking over car park spaces, but the legislatures sure went overboard with this one. Apart from the state being nearly devoid of domesticated or stray elephants, the idea of parking one in a parking lot is clearly a long shot. As a matter of fact, the law states that the owner or attendant of the elephant will be held culpable if the parking fees are not paid.
2. You can drive nude in Germany
The Germans never cease to amaze us. According to their traffic law, the car is treated as private space which therefore allows the driver to be nude while in the vehicle. Naughty, right? But the car is not that private.
Sadly, the lawmakers who drafted and passed this law forgot about the existence of windows and windscreens in the vehicle which don’t make the car entirely private. You can strip to your birthday suit and have a road trip from Berlin to Munich. No one will question you as long as you are in your own car (and the police who has pulled you over minds using the megaphone to address you).
1. In Italy, your dog has to buckle up before it goes for a ride with you
The Italians take dog issues quite seriously because it is a crime not to buckle up your dog if you are driving around with it. According to this very bizarre law, the owner of the dog must ensure that his/her pet is buckled up before they set out on a ride.
The police have actually been instructed to pull over any person who does not obey this law. And what is there to pay for the crime? Some rather pretty hefty fines. Given that most people prefer taking their dogs for a walk, this law pretty much does not have any huge effect on car owners within the country.
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