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The World’s Bizarre Driving Laws

UK drivers including motor trade professionals will be very familiar with our many motoring laws and rules as well as the smaller details of their private or motor trade insurance policy requirements. If you travel overseas there are all kinds of different restrictions and laws that also apply. Some country-specific laws seem highly unusual to the British, read on to discover 10 of the more bizarre restrictions imposed on motorists outside of these boarders.

Bizarre Driving Laws

We are all interested in the safety of our possessions, not least our prized new or used vehicle whatever that may be. In Australia however this is taken to an extreme; in some regions there are laws which state you must close your windows and lock your car if you intend to move in excess of 10 feet from the vehicle!

The Aussies are also a little unusual when it comes to foodstuffs – one law passed in 1946 forbids anyone other than authorised drivers from carrying more than 110 pounds of potatoes, although this is probably not enforced today!

Switzerland was one of the first nations to insist that motorists had to turn off their vehicles at traffic lights to lower emissions, but there is also a law stating that nobody can clean their vehicles at home – this is to stop dirty water from entering the local sewer systems and to avoid contamination of drinking water! Swiss drivers must take their car to a named franchise to have their cars cleaned.

Travellers to the continent will be more familiar with some of the following laws. In France it was made mandatory in 2013 to always carry a breathalyser; anyone failing to do so can be fined around 10 British pounds. In practice police officers will usually just tell a motorist of their oversight and use their own equipment if necessary, but it’s worth buying one to avoid a fine.

Over in Germany drivers will be familiar with the Autobahn roads where drivers can travel at very high speeds. To ensure maximum safety, motorists are not permitted to stop as this will pose a traffic hazard. One way to reduce the likelihood of standing cars is the law which states that running out of fuel on such roads is illegal! So not only could you put yourself and others at risk, but you will also face a financial penalty.

Our friends in Japan are also conscious of pedestrians, to the extent that all cars must be fitted with mudflaps, and it is actually against the law to drive through puddles when there is a risk of spraying water at people on the pavements. Drivers must look for routes around any puddles or drive slowly to avoid incidents!

On the island of Cyprus, there is no drinking behind the wheel. While this sounds very sensible, especially for the reduction of drink driving, drivers must always keep two hands on the wheel and are not permitted to eat or even drink from a bottle of water. Drivers must also keep their lights on permanently while driving or risk another fine.

We take our personal safety seriously in the UK but in some countries there’s a higher risk should you break down. Travellers outside of the major cities in South Africa are told to stay inside their vehicles in the event of a breakdown, as standing outside your car could lead to a roadside attack from robbers!

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Thailand is a popular destination for tourists, but one law which can catch people out is one around decency. Despite the searing levels of heat and humidity, drivers and passengers in any vehicle may not remove their shirt! This applies not only to locals but also to overseas tourists.

One American city has imposed a law against excessive road noise. Lawmakers in Derby, Kansas allowed authorities to impose a fine of up to 500 dollars for anyone caught performing a “burnout” or spinning their car in circles to produce a loud noise. Some offenders can even be sent to jail for up to 30 days!

The highway code and driving laws are in place to keep all road users and pedestrians safe, some rules may sound bizarre, but wherever you drive your vehicle this year, do your research before travelling, happy driving.