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41 of the Weirdest Traffic Laws that Really Exist

Strange traffic laws you should be careful to keep when visiting these countries.

While international travel is a more questionable practice since COVID-19 hit, preparing for your future travels is a surprisingly enjoyable pastime to try. We’ve found entertaining, weird, and funny traffic laws from around the world you probably didn’t know exist. These laws may seem silly to us, but where they are enforced, they are literally law.

Strange Traffic Laws in the United States of America

With 50 states all governed by their own laws, you can be sure traffic laws are going to get interesting in the United States of America.

  1. In South Africa and in most countries around the world, a red light means the driver must stop. In America, however, you can turn right on a red light if the road is clear!
  2. In the capital city of the state of Arkansas, drivers are not allowed to hoot when driving near places that serve cool drink or sandwiches after 9pm at night.
  3. In Utah, USA, birds have the right of way on highways.
  4. It is illegal to transport dead poultry along Kansas Road in Topeka, Kansas.
  5. In Indiana, nobody is allowed to sell cars on Sundays, although buying a car on a Sunday isn’t mentioned in the law. Then again, in Maine it is illegal to buy a car on a Sunday, but nothing is mentioned about selling.
  6. In San Francisco, California, it is illegal to dry or polish your car with used underwear.
  7. If you tie an elephant to a parking meter in Florida, you are required by law to pay the parking fees. The same is true for goats and alligators or any other large pets.
  8. In South Dakota, drivers can get their licenses from as young as 14 years old.
  9. The law prohibits driving with a gorilla in the backseat in Massachusetts.
  10. Tennessee and California both outlawed shooting any animal from your car unless it is a whale. Whales are okay.
  11. It is illegal to cross the state line with a duck on your head in Minnesota.
  12. You’re also not allowed to ride a camel on the highway in Nevada.
  13. In Kentucky it is illegal to allow your pet to “molest” a vehicle, although the description of “molest” isn’t given. 
  14. In Mariette, Georgia, drivers aren’t allowed to spit out of a moving car but are allowed to sit out of a moving truck.
  15. In Montana, any sheep in a truck must be escorted.
  16. In Michigan, it is illegal to read a newspaper in the middle of the street while seated, although iPads and other digital devices aren’t mentioned in the law.
  17. You are not allowed to drive blindfolded in Alabama, but you are allowed to drive the wrong way down a one-way street as long as you have a lantern attached to the front of your car.
  18. Even though there are no mountains in Nebraska, they have a law stating that drivers must stay to the right on mountain highways.
  19. It is illegal to tie a dog to the roof of your vehicle in the state of Alaska.
  20. Changing clothes in the car with the curtains drawn is illegal in Evanston, Illinois, except during a fire.
  21. You may find yourself in trouble with the law if you drive around the town square more than 100 times consecutively in Ohio.
  22. On Sundays, it is illegal to drive a black car in Colorado.
  23. Sleeping on the road is illegal in California.
  24. In Rockville, Maryland, it is illegal to swear from inside your vehicle.
  25. In Pennsylvania, drivers are required by law to stop every mile on country roads when driving at night. The law requires them to release a flare each time and then to wait ten minutes for livestock to cross the road.
  26. In Costa Rica, South America, you can get away with drinking a beer while driving.

Strange European Traffic Laws

While America may have some strange laws, Europe isn’t excluded from the action, with some interesting laws you might find abnormal as a South African.

  1. In Sweden, drivers must keep their headlights on 24 hours a day, every day.
  2. In Moscow, you can receive a hefty fine if your car is dirty.
  3. French law requires all drivers to carry their own breathalyser.
  4. In Switzerland it is illegal to wash your car on a Sunday.
  5. In Germany it is illegal for your vehicle to breakdown or stop on the side of the highway for any reason at all, including running out of petrol or engine failure.
  6. In Spain, your parking can sometimes be dictated by whether the date is an odd or even number. In some Spanish cities, people may only park on the side of the road where houses have even numbers on dates that are an even number. Similarly, they may then only park on the side of the street where properties have uneven numbers on dates that are uneven numbers.
  7. In Denmark, the law states that drivers must always check underneath their cars for sleeping children before they drive.
  8. In Cyprus it is illegal to eat or drink anything as a driver, not even water.
  9. Macedonians take the matter of drinking while driving so seriously that any inebriated individual who is “visibly under the influence of alcohol” may not even sit in the front seat.

Strange Traffic Laws in Asia

  1. In Japan it is illegal to splash water or mud on pedestrians when driving a vehicle.
  2. In China, it is illegal to stop for pedestrians, while in South Africa pedestrians have right of way.
  3. In Thailand, nobody may drive topless, regardless of the type of vehicle or the gender of the driver.
  4. Driving on a Monday is illegal in Manila, Philippines if your number plate ends in a 1 or 2.

Strange South African Traffic Laws

Local is lekker, and even us South Africans have our own strange laws that outsiders can’t understand.

  1. In America, car insurance is required by law, while in South Africa it isn’t. It’s just a really good idea to get car insurance, but you won’t get arrested for not having any.
  2. South Africans are required by law to slow down or stop for passing herds of livestock such as cows and sheep.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, medical, or financial advice. Facts stated in this article are correct at the time it was published.

Sources: its4women; wilsons;

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