The news that the Government intends to crack down on anti-social driving, particularly those who hog the middle lane on motorways, has largely been met with a positive reaction. It seems the majority of motorists think it is definitely time something was done about those who selfishly sit in the middle lane.
So if you’re not wanting penalty points and a hefty fine for driving too close to the car in front, you can at least be reassured with the knowledge that you’re not subjected to these weirdest driving laws we’ve found from around the world.
No washing cars on a Sunday – Switzerland
What we would consider the archetypal Sunday afternoon in Britain will land you in hot water with the Swiss plod. Switzerland is notoriously car hating and the illegality of cleaning your wheels on your day of rest pales into comparison to speeding or modifying your car to increase its power – both of which can leave you behind bars if you’re particularly unlucky. Harsh, yes, but then what do you expect from a country that voted for increased petrol prices.
Check for dead bodies – Denmark
Rather morbidly, drivers in Denmark are legally required to check there isn’t a dead body wedged underneath their vehicle before they set off. Unless sudden death syndrome is a particularly common occurrence in the country, you have to wonder what the point of the law is – save preventing drivers making a mess of their driveways by failing to spot that errant corpse.
No drinking water at the wheel – Cyprus
A particularly sadistic law in a country with the warmest climate in the Mediterranean. With temperatures regularly soaring higher than 25 Celsius, the ban on sipping a refreshing beverage at the wheel is utter madness. There are those that would argue it distracts the driver from the job at hand, but what about heatstroke and chronic dehydration? If you’re ever hiring a car on the holiday isle, just ensure it has air-conditioning… and a built-in drinks dispenser with straw.
No jumping from cars travelling over 65mph – California
Yes, that’s right, it seems it is perfectly legal to leap from a moving vehicle in the sunshine state, provided you don’t go above the national speed limit. Quite how the authorities decided that this arbitrary speed was the safe limit at which people could hurl themselves onto the highway is anybody’s guess, but any budding George Micheals out there, consider yourselves warned.
Pee only on your back wheel – UK
Public urination is something that – quite rightly – the police frown upon in Britain, with offenders liable for an instant fine of £80. It seems however, that motorists caught short in the middle of nowhere can get some relief (pun intended) as long as they take aim squarely at their back wheel, specifically on the right hand side of the vehicle. It’s an antiquated piece of legislation, which is unlikely to hold much water (sorry) with plod, but could provide a handy argument if you’re ever caught relieving yourself all over your pride and joy.
No splashing – Japan
No one likes to be splashed by a muddy puddle from passing cars but in Japan it’s actually illegal.
In a traditional display of Japanese courtesy, it’s against the law to splash mud or water on a pedestrian.
Don’t stop for pedestrians – China
In Beijing the law protecting pedestrians is much less courteous – so much so that it’s illegal to stop for them.
This makes crossing the road something of a hazard.
Animal crossing – South Africa
In South Africa, it’s not just pedestrians that drivers need to be aware of.
Animals are given as much right to the roads as drivers, with motorists facing stiff fines if they fail to slow or stop for passing herds of livestock.
Wir fahren fahren fahren auf der Autobahn – Germany
If you’ve driven in Germany then you’ll know that much of the autobahn network – their equivalent of our motorway – has no speed limit.
Stopping or breaking down for any reason is strictly illegal, which includes being out of fuel. Keep your tank full when you’re driving here.
We’re not 100% certain on this, but it’s probably a legal requirement to blast out Kraftwerk while you’re driving on the autobahn too.
Sun’s out, guns in – Thailand
Travelling topless in Thailand is a no-no. This applies to men as well as women, and all motorists, whether it’s bike, car or tuk-tuk, have to obey.
If you can’t stand the heat and need to shed a layer, you’ll be slapped with a small fine. It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it.
When in Rome, get a permit – Italy
Historic zones in certain Italian cities are subject to a special permit. Drivers who ignore this can face a hefty fine.
These areas are called “zono traffic limitato”. Sat navs and GPS navigation often doesn’t pick up on these, so watch out if you’re using one to navigate around Italy.
No blind driving – Alabama , USA
In Alabama it’s illegal to drive while being blindfolded. All we can say is: “duh, obviously.”
We don’t know what happened there in the past that required this very specific law.
Don’t let the dogs out – Alaska
In Alaska it’s illegal to tie a dog to the roof of your vehicle.
Perhaps the abundance of sledding dogs makes this necessary but it’s one of the more bizarre laws out there.
Think of the children – Denmark
Drivers in Denmark have to perform an unusual ritual before getting behind the wheel.
The law states that they must check for children who may be hiding underneath before setting off.
Keep it clean – Russia
In Moscow it’s all about cleanliness – police impose fines on anyone with a dirty car.
There’s no definition for what counts as “dirty” – it’s up to the officer, so in Russia it’s best to keep your motor looking tip-top to avoid a penalty.
Big plot twist – Costa Rica
You’re allowed to have a cheeky beer while you’re driving in Costa Rica but don’t be fooled.
If they catch you with a blood alcohol level of more than 0.75% you’re going straight to jail. Do not pass go, do not collect £200.
The best thing to do, of course, is to not drink at all when you’re driving.
There’s definitely some interesting ones in there. What other weird road laws have you heard or come across?