10 Crazy Driving Laws from Around the World
by Ed Scott
Driving abroad can be hard work – everyone else drives on the wrong side of the road for a start – but some countries have strange and, in some cases, apparently inexplicable laws that even the most well-travelled motorist could fall foul of.
So here, in no particular order, are some strange driving laws from different countries…
1. Go right on red (USA)
There’s nothing quite like driving along the spacious open roads of the USA, but things can get a little confusing at traffic lights as it’s legal to make a right turn when the lights are on red – provided the coast is clear.
It’s an eminently sensible piece of legislation – their right turn is the equivalent of our left turn, so no cutting across traffic – but one that can leave tourists wondering why the cars behind are beeping and flashing them to run a red light!
2. Cash or card? (Portugal)
Anyone who has ever driven in Europe will probably have heard the horror stories of the amount of on-the-spot fines that get issued on the continent, but police in Portugal seem particularly keen to part motorists from their money as many have portable ATM machines in their patrol cars.
3. Raise your glasses (Spain)
Meanwhile, just across the border in Spain, anyone who wears glasses must keep a spare pair in their vehicle at all times. Presumably on the spot fines all round for anyone packing just the pair on their eyes.
4. Don’t mess with your toot-toot (Austria)
It’s illegal for motorists to sound their car horn in the Austrian capital, Vienna.
5. Leave a light on (Italy and Scandinavia)
Anyone driving in Italy or most parts of Scandinavia must have their headlights on at all times. The reason is to improve visibility and road safety, particularly when it gets gloomy, and is the reason why you always see Volvos driving round with the lights on, regardless of the visibility.
Back to the States, California to be precise, and female motorists are banned from wearing a dressing gown when at the wheel.
7. I don’t like Mondays (Philippines)
The Philippines has a big problem with congestion and a large percentage of UK traffic collisions can occur during peak times when congestion is at it highest, and drivers are most temperamental. So to alleviate the problem, drivers are only allowed to drive on certain days depending on the numbers on their registration plates. So, for example, motorists with a reg plate ending in 1 or 2, can’t drive on a Monday between the hours of 7am and 7pm – perfect for anyone who likes a three-day weekend!
8. Keep it clean (Eastern Europe)
Some countries across Eastern Europe are sticklers for clean cars and so have made it illegal to drive dirty ones. Roadside hand car washers must do a roaring trade.
9. Up the garden path (Montreal, Canada)
Motorists in Montreal aren’t allowed to block access to their driveways by parking their cars across it. Or wash their cars in the street. Or drive a moving vehicle with a ‘for sale’ sign in it.
All perfectly reasonable, common sense laws.
10. Check the bodywork (Denmark)
The award for the most bizarre law has to go to Denmark, where motorists are required to check for bodies under their car before driving…
Check out our infographic, Crazy Car Stats from Around the World, for more fun auto facts.
Thanks to Smith Jones Solicitors for providing us with many of the interesting motoring law facts and figures used in this post!
Do you know of any other weird driving laws we may have missed? Let us know in the comments…
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