January 10, 2024 | Sammy Tran

Strange Driving Laws Around the World


Strange Driving Laws Around the World

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Driving laws are typically put in place with your safety in mind, such as, seatbelts and speed limits. You would think that they would be fairly similar across the board, however that is not true.

Different countries have different rules. And although these rules may be the norm to them, outsiders may find them to be strange.

Here are some of the weirdest driving laws around the world.

Dirty Cars

Muddy Chevrolet Pickupchristian.bitzas, Adobe Stock

Believe it or not, Russia does not care for dirty cars. In fact, they will even fine you up to 2,000 roubles if you are caught with a dirty vehicle!

This law actually exists in other areas around the world too. 

Eating While Driving

The Kindest “Pay It Forward” GesturesPexels

This one may not seem too strange to some Americans because this is becoming a new law in many countries now since distracted driving has become a serious concern. However, in Cyrpus, even sipping a drink of water can land you an €85 fine.

This rule is also becoming more common around the world. Safety, first!

Passengers of Tipsy Drivers

Best friends having fun together drivingloreanto, Shutterstock

Okay, so clearly, we know that in many places driving while under the influence is a huge no-no. But in Japan, it’s also illegal to be a passenger in the vehicle with a tipsy driver—even if the passenger is sober.

So, if you get in the car with a driver who has had one too many, you may find yourself in trouble as well.

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24-Hour Headlights

Night time headlightsRicardo Martínez González, Pexels

In Sweden, it is required that you drive with your headlights on, regardless of the time of day, or how bright the sun is shining.

Interestingly, parts of Sweden don’t even see the sun set in the month of June.

Publicly Cursing

Saved someone's lifeShutterstock

In Maryland, they have a strict rule of no public cursing. This is especially enforced in cases that involve road rage. 

If you’re caught shouting choice words out your window, you could be fined up to $100.

Dogs Tied to the Roof

Young bearded man showing thumb up while traveling together with his dog on vintage minivanDrpixel, Shutterstock

Wait, what?

Dogs should never be tied to the roof of a vehicle, and Alaska recognizes this. Not only is it frowned upon, it is also highly illegal and can warrant a large fine.

To be clear though, the bed of a pickup truck is okay for your pooch.

Splashing

Tear-Jerking Flickr, Lynn Friedman

Be extra mindful on rainy days while in Japan, it is against the law to splash mud or water on a pedestrian. This law highlights traditional Japanese courtesy.

Drive extra slow through puddles, and always keep an eye out for people walking around your vehicle.

Stopping for Pedestrians

Disturbing True Story FactsShutterstock

That’s not a typo. Apparently, it is not common practice to stop for pedestrians in China. Make sure you look both ways, a few times, before crossing a busy street in Beijing.

Traveling Without a Shirt

Bizarre encountersShutterstock

In Thailand, all drivers and passengers are required to wear a shirt while traveling. This includes both men and women, and involves all types of moto vehicles, as well as a bike or tuk-tuk.

Keep your clothes on until you get to the beach!

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Buffing Your Car With Your Underwear

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This sounds far-fetched, but that’s what this article is all about, so we’re going with it. Apparently, in San Francisco, California it is against the law to buff your car with used underwear.

Unattended Sheep

Messed Up Kids FactsMax Pixel

In Montana, you aren’t allowed to leave a sheep unattended in a pickup truck. Make sure you bring a friend along if you have to make any stops. 

BYOB

Lawyers Face-Palm factsPixabay

In France, you’re technically supposed to BYOB: Bring Your Own Breathalyzer, when traveling. There’s no excuse now for driving while over the limit—you should have used your breathalyzer before you left.

Apparently, this law is known to be terribly under-enforced. 

Washing Your Car On Sunday

Craziest Excuses factsPexels

In Switzerland, you’re not allowed to wash your car by hand on Sunday. This is because Sunday is known as a day of rest, and so washing your car by hand is prohibited.

You ARE allowed to use an automated car wash, but those are apparently tough to come by.

No Animal Racing

Jerry Springer FactsPixabay

In Ontario, Canada, it is against the law to race a horse, or any other kind of animal on a highway. Stick to the backroads, my friends.

No Stopping

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In Germany, it is against the law to stop for any reason on the Autobahn highway. This includes breaking down or running out of fuel.

Any stopping, whether intentional or not, will significantly risk the safety of other drivers. If this happens to you on the Autobahn you will be given a hefty fine. Fuel up before you go!

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Stop For Livestock

Need to Leave Now factsPxfuel

Drivers can expect huge fines for failing to slow down or stop for livestock in South Africa. This includes a single animal or an entire herd. You must remain stopped until all livestock have left the roadway. 

No Jumping

Stupid attemptsShutterstock

In California, it is against the law to jump from a moving vehicle, specifically when it is going 65mph. It’s probably best you avoid jumping from a moving vehicle at any speed, though.

Pay For Your Elephant

Unforgettable callsUnsplash

In Florida, if you tie your elephant to a parking meter, you must deposit money in the meter. Oddly enough, this makes sense. You would be taking up a meter.

Honking Your Horn Near a Restaurant

Are You Serious? factsShutterstock

Apparently, in Little Rock, Arkansas you are not permitted to honk your horn near a restaurant “that serves cold beverages or sandwiches” after 9pm. 

Maybe this has something to do with noise at night. 

Why Do These Rules Exist

Bearded man with blue shirt is driving a car with a shocked face.tommaso79, Shutterstock

Most rules exist because something has happened that has warranted it. But its hard to believe that’s the case for most of these bizarre driving rules.

Some of these rules might be seriously outdated, and most of them are likely extremely underenforced. Either way, they exist and are expected to be followed.

Final Thoughts

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These 20 bizarre driving rules are only a fraction of the absurd and confusing laws that exist in the driving world.

Anyone who operates a moto vehicle is expected to not only follow the rules of the road, but to also be aware of them.

These rules may be on the books, but some are so outdated, and so silly, that enforcing them is probably not on the priority list.

What other strange driving rules exist around the world?