Thinking about heading to a different country and renting a car? Well, that’s fine, however you should know that not every country maintains similar driving rules. In the US alone several States have different laws as it pertains to driving. Heck, three US States issued laws against operating a motorcycle with a helmet.
In this article we take a look at some of the most bizarre driving laws you might need to read twice to believe. We travel across the world from Canada, USA, Switzerland, Russia, Spain, Thailand, Alaska and various other spots. What all these destinations have in common is a unique set of rules required when driving. Some range from flat out bizarre, like a driver needing to have an extra pair of glasses in their vehicle at all times. Others just make no sense at all, such as not being allowed to have hazard lights on during a storm or not being able to wash a car on a Sunday. What about being fined for a dirty car? You guessed it, that’s also a law in a certain country. Get ready to be baffled, folks!
Enjoy the article and like always be sure to share it with a friend. Without a doubt they’ll have a laugh or two reading some of these bizarre rules. Without further ado, buckle up and read along as we take a look at 20 ridiculous driving laws from around the world. We start with a country in Europe that slapped a rule in favor of a soccer player and his privacy... Let’s begin!
Yes, you read that correctly. Just imagine the power Lionel Messi holds back in his Barcelona, Spain home. The soccer star lives minutes from the airport. However
he won’t have to worry about planes passing over his residence due to the fact that pilots are told to take a detour around his home. This has caused lots of anger, leading to extended routes and some airlines losing lots of work as well because of it.
Spain takes their soccer quite seriously, but man is this ever a bizarre rule. He’s one of the richest players in the world with a value of more than $400 million. Why not move elsewhere without the hassle of planes flying over your home?!
We all live very busy lives. That said, a dirty car isn’t always the biggest priority to take care of. Most of us let it be and perhaps revisit that issue during the weekend washing it ourselves or hitting up a car wash. If this mentality gets used in Russia you might end up with a ticket. No joke!
Now we’re not sure if the Russian government has a secret deal with various car washes, however you can get a fine for having a dirty car. Russia is one of the only countries in the world to inflict such a law. Just think about all the tickets you might have accumulated riding around in Moscow over the years.
Certain areas in the US feature some of the most useless laws. Alabama might get the nod for one of the most bizarre and utterly useless rules ever put into place. Why even waste the ink of that pen for this one! According to the law it is illegal for a driver to hit the gas pedal while having a blindfold on. We thank this Alabama law for clearing that up; we weren’t sure as to whether or not this was legal or illegal.
It’s a bizarre law to list but as you’ll see in this article it isn’t the only one deemed as totally unnecessary and that these countries from around the world felt the need to list.
Ontario might be one of the nicest and trendiest places in Canada to visit, however it also has some weird driving rules. Listed by the Globe and Mail, this wacky rule suggests that solid lines are more of a guide – drivers aren’t required to stay within the lines. Ontario’s Transportation Minister explains;
"In Ontario, lane markings generally serve as an advisory or warning function and by themselves do not possess any legal force."
So in other words if you’re caught driving in two lanes, not too worry, you won’t get a ticket in Ontario....
Russia might be cringing at this one. Just imagine the scenario that you’re in Switzerland on a Sunday, set to drive to Russia. What on earth would you do!? Seriously speaking, Switzerland banned washing cars on Sundays.
As if that isn’t puzzling enough you can’t hang clothes to dry on Sundays either. What about mowing the lawn? Apparently that isn’t allowed due to noise concerns.
Although these are all bizarre laws, maybe it helps with the overall quality of life. After all Switzerland ranks as one of the happiest countries in the world alongside Norway and the happiest country, Finland. Perhaps less washing on Sundays can improve one’s mood?
A cold beer we can understand, but water? Now that’s absolutely bizarre! Yes, in this day and age we tend to have less focus given all of the distractions at our disposal. But a darn water bottle while driving should not be one.
Just imagine the scenario of finishing a grueling workout and not being able to get a sip of that cold water bottle... Instead you must pull over, shut the ignition and take a drink.
Hearing that out loud we assume lots of drivers in the Cyprus area have broken this rule at one time or another. Seriously, not consuming water while driving can have more negative effects than positive ones.
Aren’t Canadians supposed to be friendly? Well not in Alberta. According to Global News, a drive-thru motorist got fined $287 for texting while at a Tim Hortons drive-thru area. Yikes! Now the cops claim that the driver had this coming due to behavioral issues. However nonetheless, handing someone a ticket while stopped at a drive-thru is just way too over the top.
Similar rules exist in some of the more popular locations across Canada, such as Ontario and Quebec. So if you find yourselves at a Canadian Tim Hortons drive thru put those darn phones away or you’ll have $287 less in your pocket. That'll turn into one expensive cup of coffee!
We thank Alaska for letting us know about this rule. Who wouldn’t want to tie their dog up on the roof instead of having him or her sit comfortably in the back seat? Dogs love that wind in their face, so why not give them the ultimate thrill ride on top of the car?
This is just one of the bizarre Alaska rules. Among the other weird laws includes not waking up a sleeping bear because like seriously, who wouldn’t want to anger a bear by waking them up? Seems safe enough. You also can’t push a moose out of an airplane according to Dumb Laws....What about a dog?
Thinking about driving around in a black car on a Sunday? Nope, not in Denver. What about buying a black car on a Sunday? Nope, not even. How about buying any car on a Sunday? No, you are not allowed!
Denver has some weird kind of protection laws, as you can see... One of them is not being able to purchase a vehicle on a Sunday. Denver revised this law as other stores are now open, however for whatever reason car dealerships still don’t have access. As for the black car law, that’s just downright bizarre. If you’re headed to Denver, don’t rent a black vehicle – it’ll end up costing you...
Due to one too many drive-by incidents, Honduras placed a puzzling ban on male passengers riding behind on a motorcycle. We understand the safety prevention but in truth, this one makes no sense whatsoever. What’s going to stop the same action from taking place but instead of a motorcycle, one opts for a car instead.... Oh goodness.
It is also a curious law given that women are allowed to serve as the passengers. According to Honduras officials, such a sanction is expected to decrease the criminal acts in the country. Quite the bizarre statement...
Just imagine you live in Denmark and you’re late for work or an important meeting. Wherever you live these days, chances are you run into the car and drive off. However in Denmark it isn’t as simple.
A law requires a driver to check under the vehicle before parting. A young child or animal could be stuck under – the measure is used as a precaution.
You might as well hit a couple of push-ups while you’re down there. At least you did a bit of exercise as well before entering the vehicle... It is also required that you check the lights, brakes and steering wheel prior to hitting the gas. Forget about getting to anything on time in Denmark.
Unless it is at a crosswalk, drivers in China are told to speed up when encountering a pedestrian that is jaywalking illegally. This dangerous and bizarre rule was initiated due to several traffic jams in the past caused by the influx of pedestrians illegally jaywalking. The counter to such a problem is a puzzling one and we hope no other country borrows this hazardous law.
So unless the light turns green at a crosswalk and you have the right to cross, get ready for an extended waiting time when trying to get from point A to B.
Wearing a pair of glasses while driving isn’t uncommon and it’s a law that is just for those that struggle with vision. However, think about this for a second. Imagine you’re in Spain headed to a soccer match and you’re wearing glasses while driving. Now the cop pulls you over and asks to see a second pair. In any other place in the world drivers might start to laugh.
However in Spain it’s no laughing matter. Not having an extra pair can cause a steep fine – it’s one of the most bizarre driving offenses out there. We wonder if you’re allowed to have an extra blindfold unlike Alabama rules...
Apparently Thailand government officials aren’t the biggest fans of bikes. A number of silly laws exist prohibiting the use of bikes on bridges or tunnels – it is deemed as unsafe. Among the other bizarre bike rules, bikers aren’t allowed to make any type of modifications to a ride. So basically anything fun related with a bike is a no-go in Thailand.
However according to local folk, these rules are exaggerated – cops tend to look the other way when these types of situations take place.
Among the other bizarre motorcycle laws from around the world include not being allowed to drive down a hill in certain areas, along with it being illegal to ride in disguise.
If you see animals along the road (or on the road), the first instinct might be to slowly pass them without harming any animals in the process. However in South Africa, not only does this not fly but it is also deemed as illegal. According to the law, drivers must fully stop their car and wait for the animals to cross or exit the road completely. This prohibits the possibility of any animal getting hurt.
Although we appreciate the animal safety intent, stopping the car for animals can become rather time consuming. Heck, what if they decided to lay down in the middle of the road? Can you exit the vehicle and run past them in that situation?
Thinking of putting on those hazardous lights during a tropical storm in Hawaii? Well think again, because it’ll land you a ticket. Using hazardous lights for bad weather is illegal in the tropical area. Heck it’s illegal to use hazard lights altogether. In Quebec drivers must put on their hazard lights when driving too slow, let alone in the event of a terrible storm outside.
Once again different countries have different rules, but we’ll have to side with Quebec on this one. No hazard lights at all seems to be counterintuitive and well hazardous!
This one sounds totally bizarre and it is definitely worth the mention. However in Sweden’s defense, it should also be noted that daylight time is a lot less compared to other countries. In certain parts of Sweden, particularly in the north, the sun doesn’t rise at all. In winter months like January the sun tends to set before 3 PM.
However this isn’t the case yearly, which makes us question the law. In the summer months such as June, the sun rises at 3:40 AM while setting in the wee hours at 10 PM. So maybe Sweden should reassess that law for the summer months...
Headed to Missouri with a friend? If so let them know that legally they are not allowed to honk your horn while driving – that’s deemed illegal for whatever reason... Although that’s pretty bad and downright unnecessary to mark down as an official law, certain areas ban honking altogether –
some areas have also listed restrictions to honking depending on what time it is. Seriously why have a horn to begin with at that point!?
Maybe we can yell or blast some music as a sign. Just don’t start yelling and cursing in Texas. That’s also deemed an offense and one that can result in a fine.
Yes, we do live in a world where it’s illegal to drink water while driving in a certain country while it’s deemed legal to drink a beer while controlling the wheel in another. Costa Rica officially tweaked their drinking laws.
Travelers must be aware that having a beer while driving is now legal – though it is recommended for the drinking consumption to stay at a moderate level while taking the wheel.... Talk about a backwards law, huh? So if you head to Costa Rica and the cab driver is sipping on a beer, don’t be too concerned, it’s all good! We wonder how Cyprus law officials feel about this rule...
Some rules are downright heartbreaking. In Massachusetts you must leave that pet gorilla at home or you run the risk of being slapped with a fine;
“No person shall transport an animal in the back of a motor vehicle in a space intended for a load on the vehicle on a public way unless such space is enclosed…, the animal is cross tethered to the vehicle, the animal is protected by a secured container or cage or the animal is otherwise protected in a manner which will prevent the animal from being thrown or from falling or jumping from the vehicle.”
Is there any law pertaining to a gorilla and the use of a rope and the animal on a roof?