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Weird driving laws

It is a widely believed urban myth that London taxis have to carry a bale of hay in their boot for their horse under the 1831 Hackney Carriage Act. Sadly, even though this law was repealed in 1976, it never actually said that in the first place.

Across the world, however, there are a number of bizarre driving laws that are claimed to be real and true. How many are actually genuine, and how many are as hackneyed as a bale of hay, is up to you to decide.

  • Zebra Crossing – in South Africa, animals always have right of way on the road (though who would argue with elephants and rhinos, even if they didn’t?).
  • French Whine – in France you are obliged to carry your own self-test breathalyser to see if you have been over indulging in their most famous export.
  • Riding Shotgun – in Arizona, it is illegal to shoot whales from a moving car. It’s also pretty tough, as Arizona is landlocked.
  • Sartorial School Runs – in California, women are not allowed to drive wearing a dressing gown (though apparently it’s ok for men?).
  • Double Vision – if you wear glasses, it is a legal requirement to carry a spare pair with you in the car in Spain.
  • Northern Lights – in Scandinavia, it is compulsory to drive with headlights on – even during the summer when it is light 24 hours a day.
  • Thailand Taboo – you can put the top down on your car in Thailand, but you can’t do it yourself. Driving shirtless is strictly forbidden.
  • Woof Rack – it is against the law in Alaska to drive with a dog on your roof, even if it is a hardy husky.
  • Manila Madness – congestion is such an issue in the Philippines, drivers are only allowed on the road four days a week. Number plates ending 1 or 2 are banned on Mondays, 3 or 4 on Tuesdays and so on.
  • Reverse Psychology – in Indiana it is against the law to back up into a vacant parking space. They must consider themselves to be a forward thinking state.
  • Screen Saver – in Luxemburg it is compulsory to have windscreen wipers – even though it is not compulsory to have a windscreen.
  • Crossing Confusion – in China, it is against the law to stop at a pedestrian crossing – which makes you wonder why they even have them in the first place?
  • Danes Pains – even if your back is sore, or you aren’t as flexible as you used to be, it is still compulsory to check under you car for people before driving off in Denmark.

Compared to some of these weird and wonderful driving laws, carrying a bale of hay seems perfectly reasonable – and we barely touched on the strange local laws that apply on American roads, such as the Alabama law that outlaws driving while blindfolded.

Thank goodness for the tried and trusted Highway Code!

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