posted: Apr. 12, 2010 @ 11:50a
Sometimes, what you're wearing -- or not -- while driving can earn you a fine. In Alabama, it is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded or barefoot while operating a vehicle. Women can't wear a housecoat while behind the wheel in California. While driving while not wearing shoes is prohibited in Virginia. And, in Thailand, you must wear a shirt while driving a car.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is never a good thing, but some jurisdictions have laws that go a little too far. In Virginia Beach, Va., and in Texas, if you are drunk and not driving your car, and the person who is driving the car is drunk as well, both will be charged. If you have been convicted of driving while intoxicated in New Jersey, you'll no longer be eligible to apply for personalized license plates.
The logic of some traffic laws is hard to fathom. And this law seems to contradict itself. In Alabama and the European country of Luxembourg, you must have windshield wipers on your car, but a windshield isn't mandatory.
While most driving manuals cover basic traffic laws, here are a few rules of the road you may have never encountered. For example, in Glendale, Ariz., cars may not be driven in reverse. In California, no vehicle without a driver may exceed 96 km/h an hour. Cars may not drive on the streets of Redlands, Calif., unless a man with a lantern is walking ahead of it. In Georgia, members of the state assembly cannot be ticketed for speeding while the state assembly is in session. And in Denver, Colo., you may not drive a black car on Sundays, while in Minneapolis and Massachusetts red cars cannot drive down Lake Street.
While some get a thrill from making out in cars, Massachusetts' law prohibits taxi drivers from having sexy time in the front row if they happen to be working. However, if you're in Milford, Mass., than you won't be able to report indecent acts because you're not allowed to peep in car windows. And, though we're not 100 per cent sure about what exactly this one means, you've been warned: it's illegal to molest a car in Clinton, Okla.
While piloting a car can be rife with weird restrictions, drivers should also be careful of some strange parking rules. In Cape Coral, Fla., it's illegal to park a pickup truck on the street in front of a house unless you own the property. Similarly in Montreal, you may not park a car in such a way that it blocks your own driveway. Trucks may only park inside closed garages in Park Ridge, Ill., and in Long Beach, Calif., cars are the only item allowed in a garage. In Indiana you cannot back into a parking spot because it prevents police officers from seeing the license plate.
We all know about the dangers of texting while driving, but we thought it was obvious about not using firearms while driving. In California, it's against the law to shoot at wild game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale. Seriously. In the same state's southern city of San Diego, it is illegal to shoot jackrabbits from the back of a streetcar. It's against the law to discharge a firearm from a public highway in Denver, Colo. While in Wichita, Kansas, drivers are required to get out of their vehicle and fire three shot gun rounds into the air before proceeding through the intersection of Douglas and Broadway.
Pedestrians have the right of way in most places, but some laws go even further. In Sarasota, Fla., drivers are discouraged not to hit pedestrians (or you'll be fined $78). It's against the law to come within 50 metres of a pedestrian crossing the street in Singapore. The opposite seems true in Beijing. There, drivers who stop at pedestrian crossings are liable to be fined of up to five Yuan -- or less than a Canadian dollar -- or be issued a warning.
Like pedestrians, separating animals and cars on our roadways is a good idea. But some odd traffic laws are very specific when it comes to non-humans. A Florida traffic law states if an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle, and San Francisco prohibits elephants from strolling down Market Street unless they are on a leash. In Quitman, Ga., it is illegal for a chicken to cross the road. Peacocks have the right-of-way to cross any street, including driveways, in Arcadia, Calif. Ducks have the right-of-way to cross Rancho California Street at all times in Temulca, Calif. While in Indiana, it is against the law to pass a horse. In Nevada, riding a camel on the highway is against the law. And apparently, to limit road kill in Pennsylvania, driving along a country road at night requires drivers to stop every mile, send up a rocket signal and wait 10 minutes for the road to be cleared of livestock, before continuing along the route.
Where and how you work or maintain your car can also come under the long arm of the law. In Kanata, Ont., you can't work on your car in the street. In New Jersey, you aren't allowed to pump your own gas. All gas stations are full service - and full service only. While in Youngstown, Ohio, you'll be fined if your car runs out of gas. Before firing up your car in Denmark, you are required to check the lights, brakes, steering, horn and make sure there are no children under the car. In Downey, Calif., it is illegal to wash your car in the street. While in Switzerland, you can't wash your car on Sunday, and in San Francisco, Calif., it is illegal to wipe one's car with used underwear.
And Finally One We've Known ALL ALONG!
While we're well past the point of equal rights between the sexes, there are still some laws on the books reflecting older values. In Memphis, Tenn., New Orleans, La., and Alabama, it's against the law for a woman to drive a car unless there is a man either running or walking in front of it waving a red flag to warn approaching motorists and pedestrians. Although women in Saudi Arabia got the right to vote in 2009, they still aren't allowed to drive a car.