The Craziest Driving Laws You’ve Never Heard Of

by Lilly on January 15, 2013

Almost every country in the world has crazy or archaic laws in one jurisdiction or another, but one common denominator is that massive amounts of these crazy laws are related to driving. Whether the law is nonsensical (like not being able to drive a black car on sundays in Denver) or just plain common sense (it is illegal to sleep on a road in Eureka), there are plenty of driving laws that you certainly never learned in Drivers’ Ed.

Here are 7 of the craziest car-related laws from across the world, provided by

1.  Driving in Denmark? You might want to check if anybody’s under your car

Most people are accustomed to checking their mirror before they start driving, but what about checking under your car? In Denmark, just as drivers do all the usual checks before moving they must also make sure that there is nobody under their vehicle or face a fine.

2.  Don’t even think about pumping your own gas in Oregon

It might seem crazy and old-fashioned to some, but it is illegal in both Oregon and New Jersey for drivers to fill up their own tanks. In the past, all gas stations in the US were full-service (in that trained gas station attendants had to fill up cars) for safety reasons so as not to spill the flammable liquid. Most states in the US now trust car owners to fill their own tanks, but Oregon and New Jersey have decided to keep playing it safe.

3. Strapping a baby to the top of your car is apparently a bad idea in Oregon

In the category of laws of common sense, Oregon decided to make it explicit that carrying a child on an external part of a motor vehicle is a Class B traffic violation. One would assume that anybody who actually broke such a law would be facing a much stiffer penalty than a parking ticket.

4. Checking the windshield wipers for a non-existent windshield

The law books of the small european country of Luxembourg have made it a requirement that all cars driving in the country must have functioning windshield wipers. The writers of the law might have had good intentions, but they left out one crucial detail: it is not a requirement that all cars have a windshield.

5.  Women in Saudi Arabia can fly planes, but not cars.

In a less funny instalment of crazy driving laws, women in Saudi Arabia legally cannot drive a car. The measure to restrict the movement and freedoms of women has garnered much criticism and is often flouted by women taking part in protests. Ironically, it is perfectly legal for Saudi women to fly aircraft.

6.  Drink driving in Cyprus includes water

While most countries have laws against drinking alcoholic beverages while driving, in Cyprus it is illegal to drink any liquid while behind the wheel. In a country where it is not uncommon for temperatures to reach over 100° fahrenheit, it seems a little draconian to not allow drivers to have a sip of water.

7.  No back seat driving in England – literally.

‘Back seat driving’ is a term usually referring to those annoying people in the back of a car who give unwelcome advice on driving to the driver. Perhaps in case the back seat busybodies try to stage a coup however, English law specifically states that the person driving the car must be in the front seat. No matter how unusually long-limbed you may be, you must be sitting up front to legally drive a vehicle.



I'm Lilly Sheperd, an occasional guest-blogger and a full time freelance communication consultant. When not blogging, I like to travel and read a lot, especially about education and law.

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