When driving on the Autobahn (Germany’s make-you-own-speed-limit highway system), it is illegal to stop except in the case of an emergency. This makes sense, in that there are cars barrelling down the road at tremendous speeds, but not even running out of gas is a passable excuse! Just what you need when you can’t afford to fill up your gas tank: a traffic ticket.
If you ever find yourself driving in the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus, be sure to keep your hands at 10 and 2. (Or is it 9 and 3?) Either way, in Cyprus it is illegal to take your hands off the steering wheel for any reason. This means no eating, drinking, or making crass gestures while behind the wheel. And if you have to sneeze while going for a cruise, cover your nose and mouth at your own peril.
3. Japan And The United Kingdom
In both Japan and the UK, it is illegal to splash a pedestrian with your car. Anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of a driveby splashing on a rainy afternoon is most certainly a supporter of this law, as it elevates the act from careless or even rude to a fineable offense.
4. The United Kingdom
When you gotta go, you gotta go, and the legislators in the UK understand that fact. According to a 2012 court ruling, it may actually legal to urinate in public so long as nobody sees you and you’re not causing a substantive disturbance. There’s no word on the relationship between this rule and the no-splashing law.
5. South Africa
You may feel like the king of the road if you are barreling down the street in a gigantic SUV. However, if you’re in South Africa, the true barons of the boulevard are the bovines… and other animals. The nation has implemented a rule that says automobiles must yield to a person leading a herd of animals across the street, be it cow, horse, pig, or even ostrich. No matter how much horsepower you have under the hood, you’ll still have to yield to a man with a horse.
Drivers in Spain who need glasses or contacts are required to keep a spare set in their vehicle at all times. While this law may seem like an inconvenience at first corrective lens-assisted glance, it is somewhat practical, and many a driver has certainly been thankful for having a spare pair of eyeware tucked away in the glovebox after some misfortune befell their primary pair.
Keep a microfiber towel at the ready if you’re driving in Russia, where it is illegal to pilot a dirty vehicle. Though the primary reason for this law is probably to ensure drivers keep their license plates legible at all times, the rule doesn’t specify just the license plate. The smiley face you fingered into the muck caked on your vehicle will do little to brighten your mood should you be ticketed for driving an unclean vehicle. Complicating matters is a Russian law that states it is illegal to wash your vehicle on public property. If you plan on off-roading through a Russian mud bog, you’d better hope it is adjacent to a car wash!
You probably won’t find the International Garlic Festival being hosted in Ontario, Canada, where it is technically illegal to get in a cab if you have bad breath. Though it seems this law would be difficult to enforce, it may have cab drivers worldwide contemplating a move to Canada’s most populous province.
9. United States
Lest you think all the outlandish laws are found abroad, here are some doozies found on American soil. In California, it is illegal to jump from a car going 65 miles per hour. The rule leaves would-be daredevils limited to jumping from vehicles traveling a sluggish 64 miles per hour, which doesn’t sound nearly as fun.
In Alabama, it is legal to drive the wrong way down a one-way road if a lantern is attached to the front of your car. However, it is officially illegal in the state to drive while blindfolded, even if you’re traveling in the proper direction. While it is hard to argue against such a law, we find it sad that such a stricture had to be put in place to begin with!
If you’ve got some pesky tan lines from catching some rays in Thailand, don’t even think about trying to eliminate them while behind the wheel. The country has a strict no shirtless driving policy, for men and women alike. With temperatures often climbing into the triple digits during the summer months, you better make sure your car’s AC is in working order before you hit the road!
There are many rules to keep in mind while on the road. Some are practical, and some are downright bizarre. Keep these laws in mind to stay legal and entertain your friends, or just be grateful they aren’t implemented in your neck of the woods!