Traffic rules are meant to keep all road users safe. Remember, road users include not just the vehicle drivers and their passengers but also pedestrians, bicycle riders, and motorbike riders.
Some of the universal, straightforward or basic traffic rules include:
- stopping at a red light
- driving within the speed limit
- stay at your lane
- signal when changing lanes
- keep a safe distance from the car in front
- not drinking and driving
- In some countries, you drive on your right while you drive on your left in others.
Disobeying these rules can lead to fatalities for the driver and other road users. The traffic police officers are stationed at checkpoints along the roads to ensure these rules are adhered to.
New traffic rules are still being made as things change to help solve new road challenges created by technological advancement or everyday bad habits such as chatting on the phone while driving. There are reasonable traffic rules, such as these common traffic tickets in New York, for instance.
However, some traffic laws are just weird, to say the least. In their zeal to ensure the roads are safer, some lawmakers go overboard or simply get lost. Reason or logic is set aside and what comes out is ridiculous, bizarre, and even nonsensical.
We have sampled some of the weird traffic rules here. Remember, the fact that they are weird doesn’t mean they are all ineffective or unnecessary.
1. It’s Illegal to Drive a Dirty Car…
Cleanliness is a matter of choice when it comes to private property, you might say. That’s undoubtedly true. Everyone tries to keep their car clean. It makes you feel good about yourself and gives your passengers peace of mind. We have talked about how to wash your car quickly like a pro or how to reduce litter in your car, not because the law requires you to, but so that you can always be a hygienic driver. Furthermore, keeping your car clean maintains its value and upholds aesthetics.
But did you know that it is unlawful to drive a dirty car in Hilton, South Carolina? The police will actually stop you to check if you have trash in your car! The law states that it is illegal “to place, leave, dump, or permit to accumulate any garbage, rubbish, or trash in any building, vehicle, and their surrounding areas in the town so that the same shall or may afford food or harborage for rats.”
The same cleanliness law is active in Russia but with slight modifications: you can only wash your car at home or in designated car washes.
In Minnetonka, Minnesota, you will be fined up to $2,000 for driving a vehicle with dirty tires in its streets. The dirt includes mud, sticky substances, or anything on the tires that can be deposited on the road. So if it rained on your way to Minnetonka and you have gathered mud on a muddy road, you better stop and wipe your tires before rolling in.
2. Women Not Allowed To Drive In Virginia
Are men better drivers than women? In Virginia, a woman cannot drive on Main Street unless her husband waves a red flag in front of the car. The logic behind the law is certain that women, generally, have inadequate driving skills and so must be protected from themselves.
But, is Virginia in the United States or somewhere in the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan?
3. Where Is Your Breathalyzer?
Usually, the traffic police officer provides the breathalyzer when it is time to test how sober you are while driving. But in France, the law requires you (the driver) to have an unused breathalyzer kit somewhere in your car anytime you drive. Talk of carrying your syringe when visiting a doctor.
In short, if you are a teetotaller but forget to have a breathalyzer in your car, you can still be arrested in France.
4. No Changing Cloths in a Car
Why should anyone be interested in what you do inside your car when you are not driving? Well. In Rehoboth Beach in Deleware, it is illegal to change clothes in a car. It doesn’t matter that you know how to change clothes discreetly in a car. If found in the act by the police, you have a case to answer.
5. Keep Your Headlights On, All The Time!
We have discussed how to deal with headlights glare. When should you turn on your headlights? We assume it is at night. In Scandinavia, the answer is ‘all the time’ so you will be breaking the traffic law if found to have switched off the headlights even in the day.
Well, it looks weird until you take a closer look: in Scandinavia countries, the winter season brings full days of darkness, meaning the days are as dark as the nights.
6. No Driving While Blindfolded
Which driver in his right mind would wish to drive while blindfolded? Walking when blindfolded is enough trouble, so why drive in that state? Many drivers would not want to drive with one eye shut. No completely blind man would want to become a driver for the obvious reasons. That is, common sense is enough to safeguard this matter.
No, it is not, at least in the state of Alabama where it is illegal to drive when blindfolded. Is driving when blindfolded common in Alabama? We don’t know.
7. You Must Wear a Shirt While Driving
Thailand may be hot, but it is no excuse to go shirtless while driving. You might drive without a pant, but just not shirtless.
8. Hey, Do not Transport Hay
In Australia, you are forbidden from carrying hay in the trunk of your car. So where should you carry, you ask? Easy: get a taxi. You can transport as much hey as you want in a taxi, but not in your car.
9. You Must Have a Backup Pair of Glasses
If you have vision problems, you should have your eyes checked after which you wear appropriate glasses. Common sense should be your best guide on that. But in Spain, it doesn’t stop there. After getting the glasses, the law requires that you keep a backup pair in your car, just in case you lose the one you are using.
So the traffic police officer can pull you over to check if you have spare glasses in your car.
Are There Weird Traffic Rules In New York?
We have combed through the New York traffic rules for any weird rule but, fortunately, or unfortunately, there seems to be none — for now.
Weird or not, you should keep these traffic rules when you travel to the states or countries where they are applicable. It is legal to laugh at them, even cry, as long as you obey them.
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