Facts and History

Strange Driving Laws around the World

Strange Driving Laws around the World

We all are familiar with rules and regulations that are just insane and don’t make any sense. The driving laws that we have mentioned in this article might sound weird to you. Keep this list of these bizarre traffic laws handy when you go to any of these countries, so you don’t get charged with excessive fines and other penalties (if any). Here are some of the world’s most unfamiliar, weird and unprecedented driving laws enforced across the globe:

1. Thailand

The “land of smiles” may frown upon you if you drive without a shirt on, no matter how hot the day may be. Yes, this is written in the Thai driving law as well. If anyone gets caught without the top on, he must pay a small fine as per Thai law.

2. Germany

In Germany, driving short of fuel on the Autobahn is considered an act of negligence and therefore is against the law. As there is no official speed limit on the Autobahn highway, it seems reasonable that people are not supposed to stop there if other drivers could technically go 200mph. Now, if you don’t follow the rule and stop on the Autobahn, you’d be charged with a ticket and a small fine.

3. Spain

In Spain, there is a national driving ordinance that requires visually-challenged drivers to keep an extra set of eyeglasses all the time, in case the pair of glasses they’re wearing goes missing or falls out.

It is illegal in Spain to drive in flip-flops, high heels, backless shoes, with open front shoes or barefooted. This seems to be logical to much extent that improper footwear can certainly harm you while driving. If a driver is caught like this, he/she can be fined heavily by the authorities.

4. Philippines

Every Monday, you are not permitted to drive on the streets and thoroughfares in Manila if your license number ends with “1” or “2.” This ordinance is implemented with aims to reduce road congestion. This gets weirder; there are “no travel days” according to the number coding scheme that says you can’t drive if your number endings (license number) are as follows:

  • 3 and 4 – no travel Tuesday
  • 5 and 6 – no travel Wednesday
  • 7 and 8 – no travel Thursday
  • 9 and 0 – no travel Friday

5. Russia

Russia has gained a worldwide reputation as one of the world’s cleanest nations. No small wonder — it seems that the Russians enforce cleanliness in their own cities and their public works, even in the cars they’re driving. So, if you’re spotted driving a filthy vehicle, don’t be surprised if you’re approached by the cops who will charge you a sizable fine. Drivers caught are charged $38 on-the-spot fine.

6. Turkey

Where Russia takes cleanliness seriously, Turkey puts the safety on the road above everything else. Drivers who do not carry a fire extinguisher, a reflective warning device and a first-aid kit in their own vehicles are fined heavily.

7. France

In France, drivers must carry an unused breathalyzer at all times, or else they will be penalized with 11 euros, which is pretty steep. Also, having a speed camera set up on one’s sat-nav is declared illegal and can result in license sequestration and having your vehicle confiscated.

8. Singapore

This progressive Asian city-country is known for implementing stringent laws, and it’s no different when you’re on the road. As a motorist, you are prohibited from coming within 50 meters of a pedestrian. Not only you will expect a hefty fine, but be also ready for the collective angry jeers from the pedestrians themselves.

9. Japan

Everyone hates getting splashed by a muddy puddle when walking by the roadside, but the drivers who splash do not get fined except in Japan, where it is illegal. So, splash water or mud on a pedestrian while driving and get ready for a hefty fine.

10. South Africa

In South Africa, it’s not just the pedestrians that should be allowed to cross the street, but also the herders. However, these animals are limited to donkeys, horses, goats, mules, ostriches, and pigs. Any driver who fails to give way for the passing animals or not respecting them on the road will face a stiff fine.

11. Italy

In Italy, if you don’t strap your dog safely with a seat belt when you plan to take it along for the ride, you’re automatically breaking the law.

If you are driving on snow then strapping up your tires with snow chains or winter tires are compulsory. If you don’t, it could cost you a hefty charge.

Also, driving on certain historic zones in Italy without any official permission is illegal which carries a fine of $115.

12. United Kingdom

UK law strictly prohibits the use of cell phones or tablet while driving; they doubled the penalties now so that people follow the law cautiously. If you are caught using any handheld gadget while driving, your penalties just get crucially steeper.

Now, more than 30 countries have declared the use of cell phones illegal while driving. In Oman, the penalty for being caught is ten days in jail with a maximum fine of 300 OMR which is about $780. Other countries have high fines as well, for example, Bermuda ($500), Qatar ($137), Philippines ($100), Trinidad and Tobago ($225). In some countries, the driver could also go to jail for three months.

13. USA

There are many Strange Driving Laws in the United States. For example, In Denver, Colorado it is illegal to drive a black car on a Sunday. There is no logical reason behind this which made this law, a bizarre rule.

14. Saudi Arabia

Women’s rights in Saudi Arabia are severely limited compared to its Gulf neighbors, including banning them from taking the wheel. However, there is no penalty or fine for this.

15. Finland

Cab drivers in Finland must have a license to play music while carrying passengers. Plus, to play the desired music, cab drivers have to pay a yearly subscription costing $45.

Not reporting an accident that involves a large animal in Finland is considered illegal and the driver receives a fine based on his/her income which means high-earners are hit harder.

16. Cyprus

While driving, one must keep his hands on the wheel at all times, no matter if he is eating, drinking or gesturing. Motorists caught are charged with four penalty points and a fine too.

17. Denmark

In Denmark, drivers must check for sleeping children underneath their cars before leaving or else they can face strict words from authorities.

18. Sweden

Drivers in Sweden must have headlights switched on 24 hours (whenever they are driving), or there would be on-the-spot fine.

19. Canada

In Canada, especially in Ontario, people with bad breath are not allowed to get into a cab.

20. Switzerland

The weirdest law ever is observed in Switzerland which says that you can’t wash your car on Sunday. This is unbelievable, but there are reasons behind this, read about them and more here.

21. Holland

Lastly, the most substantial fine of all time is noticed in Holland according to which if someone’s caught doing over speeding, his car would be confiscated by the authorities and won’t be given back.

Want to read more absurd laws besides just driving laws? This book “Weird U.S. Laws” by Lisa Wojna contains the wackiest American laws ever! They might sound both funny and strange at the same time.

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