It’s easy to assume that most driving laws are put in place in order to protect people when they’re out on the road. While some people may find it annoying to be legally required to wear a seatbelt while in a vehicle, they can at least understand the reasoning- it saves lives. Even more mundane ones like no rolling stops at stop signs, or the need to do shoulder checks before passing another car have been introduced because they enhance our safety.
With that being said, there are some laws that really don’t make sense. In the United States, each state has the ability to make their own laws when it comes to driving, and some of them have introduced some very questionable rules. Granted, some of these laws were implemented decades ago and made sense for the time, though they’re out-dated now. But others just seem nonsensical or ridiculous. In fact, we highly doubt that most of these so-called laws are regularly enforced because of how weird they are. Sometimes it’s just easier to stop enforcing a law rather than legally changing it because of all the political loopholes that would have to be navigated.
Most people think they can wear anything while driving their car. After all, people are only going to see you if you step out of the vehicle, right? Well, if you’re a woman driving around in California, there are some rules regarding your clothing that you’ll have to abide by. In California, it’s actually illegal for women to wear a bathrobe behind the wheel. This law is definitely archaic, and we imagine it would make headlines if a woman was actually pulled over for this. So, it’s just downright silly that this is still technically an enforceable rule.
We bet more people are likely to go shopping on the weekends given that they’ll be off work. But if you live in a town in Michigan with a population of more than 130,000, then you’ll be out of luck if you try car shopping on a Sunday. The reasoning behind this law is unclear, as small towns with less than 130,000 people are still allowed to have car dealerships operating on Sunday, yet in larger places it’s a no-no. Drivers in Michigan better hope their car doesn’t conk out on them before the stores re-open on Monday.
Considering that camels are few and far between in America, it’s hard to believe a law would ever need to be passed about them, let alone in regard to driving. But Nevada actually has a law preventing camels from crossing highways. Camels were increasingly being imported to the state in the 1800s to help move supplies across the country as part of the U.S. Army Camel Corps. Even though cars eventually got rid of this need, it didn’t get rid of the plethora of camels. So, they had to introduce a ban on camels crossing highways in the early 19th century to ensure the animals weren’t getting in the way of traffic.
If you live in the United States, you’re likely a fan of Dunkin’ Donuts. But you may not be aware of some of the ridiculous rules about parking outside of this establishment. The community of South Berwick, Maine has actually passed a law making it illegal to park within 25 feet of Dunkin’ Donuts. “Studying the parking laws, it's clear that the town simply uses the coffee-and-doughnut chain as a reference point for acceptable parking zones on a specific street,” Car and Driver explains about this unusual rule.
While most drivers likely think there are no restrictions on using their vehicle’s horn- after all, it can be necessary to ensure safety in certain situations- if you’re driving in Arkansas, you better think twice.
In 1938, the state introduced a law that allows for drivers to be penalized if they honk their horn after 9pm. It was originally created because folks would honk their horns outside of sandwich shops or beverage stands when they wanted their orders (‘tis was the days of drive-in movies and restaurants). But since the law doesn’t specify this, technically anyone could be fined for using their horn late at night.
They say if someone has a messy home, then their car is likely messier. Considering cars don’t come with built-in garbage cans, sometimes it can be convenient to throw your McDonald’s wrapper or old coffee cup in the backseat. But the town of Hilton Head, South Carolina has actually made it illegal to store trash in your car. This seems like a pretty ambiguous law- does this mean you can’t have any trash in your car? Even more, it also seems pretty ridiculous, considering that no one is being hurt by another person’s messy car.
In most places, fire trucks are allowed to go as fast as they need to when it’s an emergency, and even more, other vehicles are expected to get out of the way. But this isn’t the case in New Britain, Connecticut, where fire trucks are only permitted to go 25 miles per hour, even if they’re on route to put out a fire, Insider confirms.
This law really doesn’t make sense since it technically forces fire trucks to go under the speed limit in areas that are over 25 miles per hour. It’s unclear why or when this absurd law was put into place, but it’s pretty clear that no one abides by it nowadays.
It’s not unusual for a fellow driver to rub you the wrong way while you’re both sharing the street- especially if they steal the parking spot you’ve been eyeing! But if you’re driving around in Rockville, Maryland, using profanity to call someone out while you’re behind the wheel can actually earn you a misdemeanor. Rockville has a law stipulating that it is illegal to use curse words on a street, highway, or even sidewalk. The reasoning behind it is that a passerby may hear your questionable choice of words and they have a right to live their life without hearing curse words.
Especially if you own a white car, your vehicle is bound to get dirty once in a while. Since going to the car wash or washing your car yourself can be time consuming, sometimes a vehicle can go weeks with an unclean exterior. However, if you live in Minnetonka, Minnesota, you’ll need to be diligent about keeping your car spick and span- unless you want a ticket, that is. The town has passed a law making it illegal to drive around with dirt-clogged tires. The reasoning is that dirty tires will leave filth on the road and this is considered a public nuisance.
If you’re in a pinch and need to change outfits pronto (maybe you’re going from work to a date or spilled coffee on yourself), changing in your car might be your only option. But if you’re in Sag Harbor, New York, you’ll need to think twice before doing this. The town has passed a law that makes it illegal to disrobe in your vehicle. This law was likely introduced to dissuade people from getting frisky in the backseat. But considering you don’t need to get fully unclothed to do the deed, perhaps they should’ve made a law that’s more explicit.