Driving is not a right. Rather, it is a privilege given to drivers by the authorities who entrust them with the power to drive on the road, backed up with a plastic card called a “driver’s license.” Moreover, a driver can’t decide to drive the way he or she chooses since the road belongs to the entire public.
There are basic rules and regulations governing the road which all drivers must keep. That’s why every state or region has law enforcement agents, in the name of Highway Patrol police, to ensure that the motorists are adhering to the traffic rules and regulations that guide a particular state, region, district or city.
However, it could be hard to keep all the traffic laws sometimes, especially since there are a ton of them. And to make matters worse, traffic rules vary greatly in different locations. So, it’s not surprising that many drivers are absolutely ignorant to some of these traffic violations because of their inconsistencies. Notwithstanding, some drivers take laws into their hands by perpetuating some grave traffic violations that don’t deserve any pardon, especially when they have received warnings several times.
But what if you were not aware at all? To help you with just that, we’ve decided to do some research and list 25 traffic violations most drivers aren’t even aware of. So make sure you save yourself some serious time by reading on.
25 It’s an Offence to Drive a Dirty Car
In Russia, driving a dirty car for no reason whatsoever can get you a ticket and a fine. If your car has a little smear of dust, you may be forgiven and left to go free. However, if the police officer isn’t satisfied with your car, he can decide to pull you over and charge you for violating the law.
The major problem is the fact that most drivers can’t really tell if their car is clean enough to pass the test, considering the fact that the police officer is the one to tell if your car is clean enough or not. Offenders are asked to pay about $40 when they are caught.
24 You Must Not Frown at A Police Officer Even If You Are Penalized
There is no driver who loves receiving a ticket. And in New Jersey, instead of understanding the emotion at the time, it’s considered a traffic violation to frown at a police officer and considered disrespectful. Sure, it is hard to keep a smiley face when you get a ticket from a police officer but you definitely wouldn’t want to risk getting another ticket for frowning at him or her.
According to the New Jersey Legislature’s declaration, there must be kindness, awareness and a frown-free town zone every month.
23 You Can’t Drive Without an Extra Pair of Glasses
It’s quite inconvenient to forget your glasses at home, especially if you wear corrective glasses. Therefore, an extra pair would come in handy just in case you forget the original ones at home. The challenge is, not every driver with eye defects has an extra pair of glasses, much less carrying an extra pair of glasses around.
This law is very much effective in Spain. According to the Madrid Legislature, the violation is termed as driving blindly. So, if you lose your glasses or drive without it, you aren’t expected to drive a car at all.
22 Blocking Both Ears with Ear Buds While Driving
This law largely depends on the particular state you reside. While some states take it lightly, some don’t go easy with drivers that block both ears with earbuds. And as expected, some drivers take this traffic law for granted, even though it costs them a fine at the end.
Nowadays, it’s even easier to hide the earbuds considering their smaller size thanks to technology. According to LA weekly, this law only permits the use of hands-free but certainly not wearing earbuds on both ears.
21 Applying Excess Window Tinting
Using tints on your car helps improve privacy and enhances shading within the car. The only problem with tints is that it shouldn’t be too dark because it makes it difficult for cops to see inside the vehicle properly.
Traffic rules related to window tinting vary in different states. Each state specifies the percentage of visible light transmission on each window of a car. However, people still break the law nonetheless. Matter of fact, one of the reasons why most motorists call the law a bluff is because the cops have a hard time determining if certain windows adhere to the specific percentages, according to the law.
20 Not Pulling Over For Emergency Vehicles
Sirens are usually loud, but a lot of motorists don’t hear it because they are distracted or adamantly ignorant. In reality, a lot of emergencies occur daily and the situations require police cars, fire trucks, or ambulances speeding through traffic.
And to save on lives, it is illegal not to pull over to the side of the road to make space for emergency vehicles. In a situation like this, it’s equally difficult for cops to pull a motorist over- especially when there is a task at hand. According to the state of California, an offender should be fined at least $500.
19 Turning The Left Lane to A Slow Lane
Most drivers forget this traffic law when they drive on the highways. According to Drivers Ed, the law states that the lane at the far left is the fast lane. So, if you want to drive faster, you‘d have to maintain the left lane. Also, you have to give way to other motorists who want to overtake your car.
Many drivers constantly break this traffic law because it’s unknown to them, especially if you’re from Britain or any other right hand driving country.
18 Having Dogs in Your Vehicle While You Are Driving
This is yet another traffic violation that varies greatly in different locations. According to Independent, in some states, drivers are not allowed to have a dog in their car’s backseat while driving, while some states find it an offense to have it seated on your laps while driving.
However, some states don’t have any traffic law that prohibits dogs from staying in the car while driving. Nevertheless, it’s a traffic rule that most states should probably follow since dogs in a car can get quite distracting.
17 Attaching Indecorous Stickers On Your Car
It isn't a new thing for motorists to personalize their cars with bumper stickers. After all, it’s a good way to showcase one’s personality. However, sometimes, some motorists tend to be a little bit offensive, vulgar and crude to other motorists.
In some states in the US like South Carolina, motorists are charged a fine of $200 for attaching inappropriate stickers on their cars. Any sticker attached on any car must not have a “cuss word” or anything controversial since minors may get exposed to it.
16 Hogging the Middle Lane for long
To hog a middle-lane refers to vehicles that stay in the middle lane for too long, even in cases where there’s no vehicle in the inner lane to overtake. According to rule 264 of the Highway Code, it’s necessary to always drive in the left-hand lane when there are no vehicles on the road. If by any means you want to overtake some slow-moving vehicles, it’s best to go back to the left-hand lane when you’ve passed safely.
Hence, if you choose to do otherwise, the law would hold you responsible for your actions.
15 Placing GPS On Your Windshields
This law comes as a big surprise to many motorists since most of them find the windshield position rather appropriate for the GPS. But according to GPSTracklog, it’s illegal to mount a GPS on the windshield of your car. In the past, the traditional GPS were placed on dashboards, but these days many motorist prefer to mount the GPS on their car windshield.
Even if you haven’t been pulled over by the cops for this infraction, chances are high that you may be caught soon and ignorance won’t be an excuse.
14 Driving A Car with Broken or Missing Horn
The purpose of a horn in a car is to warn impeding motorists and pedestrians about any potential danger. Horns are meant to avert accidents from occurring, so a car with a broken horn is a potential hazard to other motorists and pedestrians.
According to Mydriverlicenses, it’s illegal to drive a vehicle with a broken horn, and it’s worse if the car has no horn. Sadly, many motorists see this traffic law more as a formality than one that’s tenable.
13 Leaving Your Car Engine Running Unattended
During winter, some car owners like to leave their car engine running, first thing in the morning, so as to heat up the engine. Some motorists even go as far as starting their cars with their phone as they are enabled. However, some states in the US and some places around the world frown seriously at this act.
And according to Good Housekeeping, the law is helpful to the environment considering its eco-friendliness. Even though a lot of people do this in their homes, especially during winter, it still doesn’t change the fact that is an offense to leave your car engine running unattended.
12 Not Having Enough Lighting for Your License Plate
Did you know that it’s a traffic violation to drive a car at night with a license plate that doesn’t have enough light? Yes. It is never enough just to have your license plate on.
National Numbers reports that it’s a must for license plates to have working lights to aid in displaying the numbers properly at night. So, a driver without working license plate lights is no doubt attracting a fine or a warning from the police.
11 Not Granting Pedestrians Right Of Way
A pedestrian is more at the risk of getting harmed than a driver is in a car, considering the size and material used to make these metal machines. So, it’s more pertinent for drivers to give pedestrians the right of the way. According to Grunge, every car must yield to a pedestrian, even if he or she is crossing a place that shouldn’t be passed.
Even if you encounter a pedestrian entirely in the wrong while crossing the road, it’s your responsibility as a driver to slow down and wait for them to pass before you move. Failure to do so may land in a fine or possibly causality.
10 Disregarding Wet Signs
As a driver, it’s hard to come by these wet signs on the road, since they are mostly found in windy areas. In such cases, the signs are placed for drivers to take caution – especially when there is a heavy downpour of rain, which makes such roads slippery for any driver.
According to Ranker, the signs are quite easy to notice but many drivers break the law unknowingly. The sign is a way of telling drivers to reduce their speed level and slow down. So, if you’re not adhering to the law, you may just be receiving a fine from the cops.
9 Stopping At Stop Signs
This one is another highly ignored traffic violation, despite the signs being quite clear on what should be done. And for the record, it’s not that most drivers don’t know about this law, it’s just that they choose to ignore it.
Apparently, for some drivers, it’s an avenue for them to quickly speed by before they are halted and asked to wait for a while. According to Byrd Davis, who is a legal practitioner, a lot of these drivers who commit these infractions, do it not knowing the implication of breaking it.
8 Distracted While Driving
There are so many distractions that come to us in our daily life activities. However, no matter how much distraction we come across daily, it is necessary to ensure they don’t affect us while we are on the road. According to Autowise, it’s expected that a driver pays gross attention and focus to only what is ahead while driving.
There are so many things that could distract you while driving, going to the tiniest things such as the car tuning to the wrong radio station. But whatever the case may be, the law expects us not to yield, even if a bad acapella artist is messing up the Beatles tunes.
7 Leaving Your Fog Lights on
The Fog lights are the brightest lights of any car, and they are turned on when the visibility of the driver is compromised. And that doesn’t mean that they are needed in a bright summer day.
According to Autowise, most drivers tend to switch on their fog lights when they have issues seeing at least a hundred feet away from their car, which may be caused by some environmental factors such as mist. However, many people have abused it these days, as they tend to put them on every time. Pulling that stunt is a serious offense that can land you serious fines.
6 Giving Cyclist Space
It’s very important for motorists to consider cyclists while they are driving on the road. This is because seeing these road users tends to be quite difficult at times. LA Weekly stated that it was quite common for motorists to drive right beside cyclists in most occasions, in a rather dangerous manner.
In 2014, a law was passed in California called the “Three Feet for Safety Act.” The law states that motorists should leave three feet space for a cyclist on the road. This move introduced similar laws in other states. However, due to lack of citations issued, cyclists are still frustrated. According to Nola, many people ignore this law because the enforcers are yet to unleash a crackdown on motorists.
5 Refusing to Stop for A Bus
There are quite a number of traffic rules that accommodate public transportation, and it doesn’t exclude vehicles like trains, trolley, and buses because they share the road with other drivers. According to NJ reports, the law states, “when buses come to a halt and flash red lights, the vehicle behind it should be 25 feet away.”
Despite this law, you’d still find drivers choosing to drive around the bus instead of remaining parked behind. It’s possible that drivers ignore the law because more often than not, the police tend to turn a blind eye.
4 Driving Around with A Broken Windshield
A broken windshield is quite dangerous, and that’s the reason why there are traffic rules that exist to govern their use. According to YourMechanic, a cracked windshield doesn’t just worsen, but it affects the visibility of the driver on the road.
The problem with this rule is how the police go about enforcing it. Many offenders hardly get pulled over by the police for breaking this law. For motorists that get pulled over, they’re given a short time to fix it afterward.
3 Driving Across White Lines
As a motorist, it’s crucial to pay attention to details on the road like the different set of lines. According to Bellingham, it’s illicit for motorists to cross double white lines.
The white lines are usually on highways to divide the carpool lane. The carpool lane helps keep motorists from entering as they please. However, the purpose is defeated on several occasions because motorists cross the lines. It’s hard for cops to catch violators because it happens so fast but when they get you, you pay a hefty fine.
2 Parking or Waiting on Yellow Zig-Zag Lines
This traffic law was first introduced in the 1964 traffic signs regulation before it was modified in 1975 to the yellow zig-zag lines you see these days with the word “school keep clear “in between the lines. The lines help prevent accidents between motorists and children. If you see an upright sign alongside, it indicates that there’s a mandatory prohibition of stopping there at times indicated.
It appears that some motorists aren’t aware of this law because they end up parking and waiting on yellow zig-zag lines and it earns them a ticket.
1 Driving over painted mini-roundabouts
The traffic law could be quite confusing to so many motorists but if you take a second and review the name, it would give you a clue. According to Safedrivingforlife, it’s best to ensure that motorists using the roundabout are ready to leave it before you enter it.
The reason for this is that there’s little time to signal and far less space to maneuver. To avoid being a violator in this roundabout, avoid driving straight over the middle instead, pass round the central markings. The only exception is when you’re driving a large vehicle that can’t make a small turn.
Sources: Autowise, Washington Post, The State Laws & Axle Addict