HotCars.com

10 Bizarre US Driving Laws Most People Don't Know (And 10 Weirder Ones In Canada)

Headed to the US or the Great White North? Well if so it might be best to brush up on some driving laws pertaining to both countries. Europe has some bizarre and drastic laws as well – let’s give Europe a bit of love. In Switzerland it is deemed as illegal to wash a car on a Sunday. What might be worse is Russia’s law that dictates drivers cannot use a dirty car – this can lead to a steep penalty. What might be more bizarre than these two is in Denmark a driver must check under the car before starting the ignition. Oh and it is also required that a driver checks the lights, horn and engine before placing the vehicle in drive. By the time you’re off the sun might be setting...

However for the time being let’s explore some of the more radical laws featured in both Canada and the US. Some are just completely and utterly useless while others can actually be of importance for those that aren’t familiar. For instance in BC a flashing green light has a totally different meaning. We’ll explore that change and many others throughout the article.

Without further delay here are 10 bizarre US driving laws you should know about before entering the country and 10 in Canada. Buckle up, hit the gas and let’s get started!

advertising

20 US: Honking Prohibited After 9PM In Arkansas Near A Sandwich Or Beverage Shop

via blogspot.com

Arkansas has some peculiar laws protecting both sandwich and beverage shops. Let’s say you’re near one of the locations, make sure to think twice when pushing that horn. According to this bizarre law a driver is prohibited from honking near the establishments after 9 PM...

So if one chooses to honk at 8:59 PM you should be okay.

However anything later can result in a fine. This one enters the “but why?” column as a law that seems to be totally unnecessary. You’ll be seeing a lot of other similar laws to this one in this article.

19 Canada: No Racing Animals On The Highway In Ontario

via y2y.com
advertising

“Section 173 of Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act strictly asserts that “no person shall race or drive furiously any horse or other animal on a highway.” Go Auto suggests that this is among the bizarre laws in Canada. We aren’t disagreeing with that. Vegas banned camel riding. If you see similar circumstances taking place in Ontario a driver can’t request a race Gran Turismo style. It is forbidden to race any type of animal on the highway. But what if you’re trying to rescue an animal and by doing so you need to speed up and catch them... Could this be viewed as racing an animal? We hope not cause if it is you’ll get a ticket.

18 US: No Riding Camels On The Highway In Nevada

via businessinsider.com

They call it Sin City and everyone knows the popular Vegas phrase “whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” However according to Nevada state laws there are limits and it isn’t a free-for-all when it comes to highway safety. Let’s just say you’re headed back to the hotel after a long night of partying.

When merging onto the freeway, we see a dude riding a camel on the highway.

Not so odd for a night in Vegas. As a citizen it is your duty to report this crime. According to the Nevada state laws this is in fact an actual law and a bizarre one to say the least. What if we see a guy riding a camel out on the Vegas strip? Is it okay?

17 Canada: Can’t Text While At A Drive-Thru In Alberta

via knowtechie.com
advertising

Some weird stuff takes place at Tim Horton's drive-thru’s in Canada. Perhaps due to the fact that it’s open 24/7 this leads to some erratic behaviours. Among the more head-scratching scenarios to take place include numerous drive-thru altercations between customers and employees. A man also showed up at the drive-thru riding a Zamboni if you can believe that. With hockey season looming it isn’t out of the question that this happens again. Another bizarre incident to take place went down in Alberta back in 2015. A man got fined $287 while texting at a Tim Hortons drive-thru. Beware, as according to Global News, similar laws exist in hot spots such as Quebec and Ontario.

16 US: Legal To Drive The Wrong Way Down A One Way In Alabama

via quintinmoore.com

If you see someone driving the wrong way down a one-way street don’t be alarmed and just make sure they have a lantern attached to the front of their car.

If they do have lights on, then this potentially dangerous maneuver is deemed legal according to Alabama state driving laws.

Among the other bizarre laws in Alabama; a driver cannot be blindfolded while operating a vehicle (thanks for clearing that up), no throwing orange peels on the sidewalk and windshield wipers are mandatory.

15 Canada: Must Honk When Passing Another Driver In PEI

via digitaltrends.com
advertising

We can understand honking when taking a dangerous curve and not seeing another driver. However honking while passing another driver in a regular circumstance might be a little much and among the bizarre “but why?” types of rules. It should be noted that although this is a law it isn’t a strict one. Several PEI drivers don’t really use the legal tactic. Just imagine how strange things would get in Arkansas if this was a law. No honking near sandwich shops after 9 PM but honking to pass someone is okay. What if you would pass someone near a sandwich shop. Mind blown! Thankfully the folks in Arkansas have only one silly law to deal with.

14 US: Illegal For A Woman To Drive In Bathrobe In California

via bravotv.com

California has some wacky laws. If you’re thinking about showing off a new and expensive ride just make sure you’re at least going the speed limit. Going any slower can result in a ticket. According to state driving laws, too slow can be hazardous along with creating traffic jams. It’s a bizarre one but it kind of does make sense. However this one totally does not. Say your mail slot is a little further and you slap on a robe and start the ignition - a female driver runs the risk of getting ticketed. No laws say anything about a cape so if anything just slap it on instead of the bathrobe.

advertising

13 Canada: Driving Slow In The Left Lane Can Get You A Ticket In BC

via youtube.com
advertising

The US isn’t the only country in the world to set laws for those that drive too slowly. It appears that BC also has a need for speed. Typically in Canada the left lane is used for drivers that go a little faster while it is also used in Quebec as a lane to pass other drivers on the highway. It can be a tad bit annoying when a certain driver takes their time in said lane.

This is one of the ways traffic jams get created.

BC has a clever solution for this problem. What is it you ask? A nice fat ticket! Those that have a need for speed on the highway likely appreciate the law enforcement.

12 US: No Frowning At Police Officers In New Jersey

via thebalancecareers.com

Ever hear the term “turn that frown upside-down”... In New Jersey you had better do it, because if not you’ll be slapped with a separate ticket. Yes we do live in a world where frowning is deemed illegal in New Jersey. It’s a little ridiculous that the state law wants to tell drivers how to act when dealing with police. Instead we are required to smile after being fed a speeding ticket for more than $100. Not being able to show any type of displeasure is just bizarre. Who would have thought that Jersey cops are just so darn sensitive?

11 Canada: Kids Under 7 Can’t Be Left Alone In The Car In Quebec

via weebly.com
advertising

Lots of provinces have laws in place protecting children and their safety at home. However Quebec is the only place in Canada to set an actual age minimum required for a child to stay in the car alone.

This is strange because it basically means they think an 8 year old being alone in a car is fine.

Quebec is protective when it comes to this law. There have been several instances of Quebecers getting ticketed for the offense. It isn’t the only bizarre driving law unique to the other provinces. Driving on commercial or residential property is deemed illegal for the purpose of avoiding a red light. Quebec also requires drivers to put on their hazard light if driving too slowly. Also motorcycle drivers can’t drive side-by-side. Oh the Belle Province!

10 US: Illegal To Buy A Car On Sunday In Maine

via prweb.com

Thinking of buying a car in Maine? You’ll have six other days to do so as it is deemed illegal on a Sunday? Talk about a laid back lifestyle! According to Press Herald although a lot of the Maine laws have changed throughout the years some continue to stay the same; “Maine mandates the Sunday closure of all car dealers and nearly all government offices.” Maine isn’t alone. Denver has a similar law in place that prohibits the sale of vehicles on a Sunday. This is especially bizarre due to the fact that most retail stores are open on the day. For whatever reason black cars are also not to be used on Sundays either...

9 Canada: Don’t Need To Stay Between The Lines In Ontario

via sfgate.com
advertising

The Globe and Mail ranks this law among the strangest in all of Canada; "A solid line is a restrictive marking that is meant to signal to the driver that passing is unsafe," says Ontario's Ministry of Transportation. "In Ontario, lane markings generally serve an advisory or warning function and by themselves do not possess any legal force." So in other words unlike other provinces outside of Ontario the lines are really only used as warnings or according to what they’re saying, suggestions. Don’t worry about staying between the lines; it is overrated according to Ontario driving laws.

8 US: A Messy Car Can Result In A Fine In South Carolina

via thesuperorganizeruniverse.com

Around the world various countries have distinct rulings when it comes to cars and their cleanliness. Russia might take things to another level. You can be ticketed in the country for having a dirty car. However, South Carolina seems to be more concerned with what’s inside your car.

According to state ruling, a messy car interior can lead to a fine.

So remember folks clean up the vehicle before heading to South Carolina. Both Russia and those who put the law together in South Carolina won’t be pleased with Switzerland’s law pertaining to car cleanliness. According to the ruling it is illegal to clean a car on a Sunday.

7 Canada: Flashing Green Light Has Different Meaning In BC & Yukon

via twitter.com
advertising

This one can be very dangerous for those that are unaware. Universally a green light that flashes means the driver has the right of the way. However for whatever reason both provinces in BC and Yukon put their own spin on it. According to the Globe and Mail the speed of the flashing light is also reduced; "Our green ball flashes at 60 flashes per minute (a little on the slower side) whereas the Ontario flash rate was a higher (or faster) flash rate." As for the reasoning it is meant to give the pedestrians the right of the way. It basically tells the driver that pedestrians have the right to pass, so be on the lookout.

6 US: Illegal To Run Out Of Gas In Youngstown, Ohio

via prismperspectivesgroup.com

Ohio is another place in the US featuring several questionable laws. Among the more peculiar includes a driver getting a fine for running out of gas. We’ve all faced that dilemma before and the entire hassle of running out of gas is bad enough in truth. Now imagine getting ticketed by a cop as well. In both Germany and Youngstown, Ohio this is the reality. But at least in Germany the law is limited to highways only... Let’s give some love to other bizarre Ohio laws. No honking your horn excessively, that’s illegal. A map without Lima on it is illegal to sell. One of the most bizarre laws outside of motor vehicle safety – police in Paulding being allowed to bite a dog in order to quiet him down...

5 Canada: Cannot Use Neutral When Going Down A Hill In BC

via carfromjapan.com
advertising

Thinking about giving your car a break and setting it in neutral while going down a hill? In BC this might take place given the mountainous landscape of the area. However it should also be noted that for whatever reason doing so can result in a ticket. Here’s what the law states; “When travelling down grade a driver must not coast with the gears of the vehicle in neutral or the clutch disengaged.”

Perhaps BC should ban the neutral function in general in all cars at that point.

Just imagine crossing a flashing light in BC without looking for pedestrians while crossing with the car in neutral – now that’s a nightmare for BC law enforcement!

4 US: Drivers Not Allowed To Pump Gas In New Jersey

via nj.com

According to Fortune New Jersey is now officially the only US state that insists drivers do not pump their own gas. Oregon just changed the law leaving New Jersey as the sole survivor. Many have complained however according to NJ.com a motive for not changing the law is the amount of jobs that would be lost. That’s understandable but the “emotional toll” part on the drivers who would have to learn how to pump gas is downright silly; “The New Jersey law dates back to 1949. Every few years some residents argue that a repeal of the law would help lower the cost of gas at the pump, while supporters say that doing so would be at the cost of tens of thousands of jobs as well as cause an “emotional toll” on adult motorists who would have to learn how to handle the pump on their own.”

3 Canada: Driving Barefoot Totally Legal

via reddit.com
advertising

We’ve given Canada some tough love for instating some bizarre and for the most part unnecessary laws. But what about the non-laws? Canada is a great option due to its leniency in certain areas. However this one is quite bizarre in terms of things drivers can get away with while driving. Across Canada it is deemed as legal to drive totally barefoot. This unlike the US. It might be a good option during the summer months however we don’t recommend the same during the winter. Given the climate in every province you’ll be driving with some serious frostbite. In all likelihood your driving foot won’t even feel the pedal.

2 US: Can Obtain Licence At 14 In South Dakota

via theblogspot.com

In most US areas 16 is the legal limit to obtain a driving permit. However South Dakota decided that their folks might be a step ahead in terms of driving capabilities. According to the law a driver can obtain their instruction permit as early as 14! Most of us didn’t even know how to use a car in video games at that age back in the day.

Once they get the document, they must visit a licensing location alongside a guardian in order to receive the actual permit.

If you plan on visiting South Dakota don’t call the cops in the event that you see a driver looking way too young – it’s all part of the plan!

1 Canada: No Holding Onto A Car On The Highway In Saskatchewan

via wikipedia.org
advertising

The adrenaline might be flowing after watching one of the Fast & Furious films. This might lead you to hanging off a car. However in Saskatchewan they felt the need to let you know it isn’t okay; “Unless you are riding in or on the vehicle, you must not hold onto a moving vehicle.” California tips their hat to Saskatchewan. However the state is interested in the cases of fast cars only. According to Jalopnik it is forbidden to jump on a moving car going faster than 65 MPH. As Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber says, “so you’re saying there’s a chance?".

Sources: GlobalNews.com, PressHerald.com, Jalopnik.com

advertising
Give HotCars a Thumbs up!

More in Car Culture