Is That Actually Illegal? Strange Driving Laws
Remove your blindfold before driving, no driving on the roads, and no horn honking where sandwiches are present. They might seem ludicrous, but across North America, there are some unusual road rules that could land you a ticket if you don't obey them. As you climb into a car rental vehicle in any state or province, you'll likely be driving through a region with its own unusual, strange, or even wacky driving laws. Although most aren't enforced, here are some of the strangest road rules to watch out for on your next car rental excursion.
Dress to impress, or else
Did you know that in California it's illegal for women to drive in a house coat? But that's not the only random road law you'll need to be aware of if you're driving your car rental in California. In California, it's also illegal for a car without a driver to travel more than 60 mph or to jump from a vehicle moving more than 65 mph. Makes sense doesn't it? In terms of a practical law, California road rules also state it's illegal to drive too slowly as you can be a hazard to other vehicles.
Stay Off the Sidewalks and Out of Parks
Here's a rule you should follow: keep your car rental vehicle on the road. In some states however, it seems it's not so obvious. In Oregon, you must yield to pedestrians while driving on the sidewalk. Similarly, in one town in Georgia, it's illegal to drive through playgrounds. It seems obvious, but it's a written law, so the next time you travel in an Atlanta, Georgia car rental, stay out of the playground.
Make Some Noise
Your car rental is equipped with a horn for a reason...a safety reason. Several states have strange horn related laws worth knowing. In Little Rock, Arkansas, it's illegal to honk your horn anywhere that beverages or sandwiches are sold after 9pm. If you rent a car in Missouri, remember, it's illegal to honk someone else's horn in University City. Just like when you were a kid, keep your hands to yourself. Finally, in Rhode Island, you must make an audible noise when passing someone in your car rental. We don't recommend rolling down your window and yelling; in this instance, honking the horn is the logical thing to do.
Those Crazy Canucks
Unusual driving laws aren't unique to the United States. In New Brunswick, Canada, there is actually a law that says it is illegal to drive on the road. One would wonder why they've built thousands of kilometers of highway in this beautiful province? If that isn't confusing enough, one practical rule to learn is that if you're driving a car rental in Quebec, it's illegal to turn right on a red light, but only minutes south in Ontario, this isn't a problem. Make sure you watch for signs telling you you've entered a new Province, because these road rules can change quickly.
Can You Say That Again?
And now for the overseas installment of strange driving laws. Did you know in Luxembourg, Europe, it is a requirement to have windshield wipers on your vehicle...but not a windshield? In Singapore, you can't come within 50 metres of a pedestrian crossing the street (that's half a football field!), and in Beijing, it's illegal to stop at a crosswalk. In Denmark it is illegal to start a car with someone underneath it. Then again, it is also required to have someone in front of your vehicle while you drive in Denmark with a flag to warn horse drawn carriages your car rental is coming. And finally, if your car rental in Switzerland has snow tires, be sure to check the dashboard for a sticker telling you it's illegal to drive at more than 160 km/h with those snow tires on. If the sticker isn't there, you could be charged.
Many of these weird driving laws will never apply to you, but they exist, and technically, you could be ticketed for breaking them. Before you get into your car rental, be sure to ask the people at the front desk if there are any strange local laws you should know and whether they are actively enforced.