On my Euro-trip this year we rented a car in France and drove from the South of France up to Paris. Wow. The road rules are different! Fast seems to ‘work’ better than slow over there. Negotiating your way through the many roads rules we follow as drivers can be tough, and that is why you might need the support and advice of experts like GC Traffic Lawyers who can help you when you are in a legal bind. But spare a thought for drivers in other countries, where some rules have been left over from the days when cars were started with a crank-handle, and others make no sense whatsoever. Here are a few of road rules that were once relevant but are now like… WTF.
It’s a Man’s world
Some rules are targeted at men. Did you know that a male driver in the United Kingdom is allowed to urinate on the rear wheel of his car as long as his right hand is resting on the vehicle? Or that men in Singapore can’t drive around town shirtless (women aren’t mentioned but we assume they can’t either).
Ladies, Don’t Start your Engine
In Saudi Arabia it is illegal for women to drive at all, while in Memphis, Tennessee, United States, an old law says that women can drive – as long as a man walks in front of them to warn people of their approach.
Don’t Drink, Eat, or do Anything Behind the Wheel
Sometimes you might find it difficult to do anything at all behind the wheel. Spain in particular has many restrictions. These include putting groceries on the back seat of a convertible, driving in slippers and, in some cities, parking outside a house with an odd number on even-numbered days (and vice-versa). Meanwhile, it is illegal in California to shoot at wild game from a moving vehicle, unless the animal is a whale. And drivers must have zero alcohol in their systems in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Rome and Serbia, while you can’t drink anything at all, even water, while driving in Cyprus. Oh, and smoking while driving is banned in Greece.
Have you Stocked your Car?
Some rules require motorists to carry all sorts of weird and wonderful things with them. For example, if you wear glasses in Switzerland, you need to carry a second pair with you; in Bulgaria, you must carry a fire extinguisher; while in Queensland, Australia, an old law requires all taxi drivers to carry a bale of hay in their boot.
Animals, too, have Rules
Animals don’t escape the long arm of the law in many jurisdictions either. If you tie your elephant to a power pole in Florida, USA, you’re going to be charged parking fees as if it’s a car. Meanwhile, drivers a little further north in Pennsylvania are required to stop every 10 minutes and fire a warning rocket in the air so farmers can clear livestock from the road ahead.
And the Winner is…
Last but certainly not least, the favourite comes from Clinton, Oklahoma, USA, where it is illegal to ‘molest’ a car. We don’t know what it means either, but the cars are no doubt happy about it.
Some of these rules are obsolete and have been struck from the statute books, or are no longer observed. Others, like women not being allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, are strictly enforced. But they all serve as a reminder that if you are travelling overseas to keep an eye on local rules. You never know when you are about to commit an offence – trust me, we found out the hard way in France!
Image credit: www.alphatravelinsurance.co.uk
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