The strangest and funniest driving laws around the world
A look at some rules that seem like a joke but need to be taken seriously
Californian women need to up their fashion game before going behind the wheel
If you run out of fuel on a German highway, they’ll fine you for it
If you live in Manila you better not be needing your car every day
Although not all of them will admit it, most drivers think that driving laws are an absolute necessity for safe roads and efficient traffic. While laws, like not going over a certain speed limit or having properly functioning brakes, make perfect sense and are self-explanatory, some countries decided to get creative and to test the patience of their drivers with these weirdly entertaining driving laws.
California law has a dress code for women
One would assume that once you’re in the privacy of your own car, the only people that should be concerned with what you’re wearing are you and your passengers. Californians, however, have always felt the need to be special, and this old but still technically valid driving law is a perfect example of that. There’s no proper explanation as to why someone thought of this law, but it basically states that women are not allowed to drive while only wearing a housecoat.
We’re not really sure how wearing a nighty can possibly affect a woman’s driving performance or why this law is specifically created for women, but it’s there, and it’s funny.
Russian police are weirdly interested in how clean your car is
If you watch a Russian traffic YouTube video, you’ll likely find at least ten more serious issues on their roads, but apparently, you can get a fine over, thereby having a dirty car. The law would make a little bit of sense if they clearly defined what a dirty car is. Obviously, if the police can’t see the license plates, they have a legitimate reason to fine you. But other than that, only the officer who stopped you can judge if your car is dirty or not.
Not only is the law ambiguous and the line between legal and dirty blurred, but keeping a car clean in Russia is especially difficult due to the bad weather and awful roads. So next time you’re pulled over while driving through Russia in a car that’s not spotless, you better make sure the police officer is in a good mood.
The Germans made lack of preparation illegal
Germany has a reputation for doing things well and getting things done. If you own a German car, you can definitely see the positives in this approach, and if you’ve been paying attention in history class, you can easily spot the negatives. This driving law is not a particular negative. It actually makes sense, but it’s still kind of weird.
The Germans don’t consider you being stranded on the highway with an empty tank as being enough punishment, so you’ll also get a fine if that happens to you. Imagine waiting for the tow truck and receiving an $80 fine for your trouble instead.
Drinking and driving can mix in Costa Rica
Drinking before taking a drive is one of those activities that are so obviously wrong that even the people who do it agree. That being said, you would imagine that every state in the world with at least one road and two cars has banned drinking and driving for decades. Enter Costa Rica, a beautiful country with apparently not-so-beautiful laws.
Technically the law still forbids drinking and driving, but only if the driver is too drunk to drive. What’s too drunk to drive? Who knows? The information is probably kept in the same book that defines what a dirty car is to Russians.
Cyprus is the opposite of Costa Rica – you can’t drink anything
There are usually two extreme sides to everything, and the driving rules in Cyprus are a great example of that. If their hot-blooded South American compadres decided that you can drink as many if you want as long as it’s not ‘too much”, in the gorgeous Mediterranean island of Cyprus, you can’t even have a sip of water while being behind the wheel.
You can’t even do it while standing still at a traffic light. You have to pull over, turn off your engine, and only then you can safely open that bottle of water next to you. The fact that Cyprus enjoys sunny weather and hot temperatures for most of the year doesn’t help either.
Manila drivers have to leave their car home one day a week
Big city traffic is an issue everywhere around the world. Authorities have tried everything from encouraging taking the bus to creating carpool lanes, with mixed results. Indonesians didn’t bother with such subtle solutions, however, and came up with a way to immediately reduce traffic by 20%. And it must have taken them a minute to do so.
The idea is simple: all drivers in Manila are banned from using their cars on a random day from Monday to Friday, for three hours in the morning and four hours in the afternoon. You know, the hours when you actually need your car. They better have one-day-a-week bus passes too.
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