The Weirdest Rules of the Road: 40 Bizarre Driving Laws from Around the World

The Weirdest Rules of the Road: 40 Bizarre Driving Laws from Around the World

When we think about safe driving, there’s always the standard: don’t speed, always signal, and never drive under the influence. But as you travel around the globe, you’ll find that sometimes, there’s more to it. In fact, you’ll likely stumble across some truly crazy and weird rules of the road. To help you get a better idea of some of the wild driving laws around the world, we’ve created this article with 40 great examples. Let’s get started!

1. The Dirty Car Ban - Russia

In Russia, driving a dirty car isn’t just frowned upon, it’s illegal! That’s right, if the police catch you driving around in a car that’s deemed “too dirty”, especially if the license plate is obscured, be prepared to get slapped with a hefty fine. If you don’t want to pay unnecessary cash, make sure you don’t skip the good ol’ car wash. Your laziness might just cost you!

angel-rodarte-BK7UVCrcYTA-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Angel Rodarte on Unsplash

2. High Heel Hazard - Spain

For all you ladies out there, if you’re thinking of hitting the Spanish roads in your tallest stilettos, think again. Spain prohibits drivers to wear any footwear like high heels or flip flops that might not ensure proper control over the pedals. It’s a reasonable one to be honest, because safety should always come before fashion anyway. 

pesce-huang-pEzLon__DfM-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Pesce Huang on Unsplash

3. The Blindfolded Ban - Alabama, USA

While you may be scratching your head because this law seems like common sense, Alabama specifically has a rule stating it’s illegal to drive while blindfolded. We can’t argue with this one! You really can’t help but wonder what incident prompted this particular rule into existence in the first place. 

kirill-balobanov-YbHFrt7-9Lc-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Kirill Balobanov on Unsplash

4. No Shirts, No Service - Thailand

No matter how hot it gets (and it will get very, very hot), driving shirtless in Thailand is a big no-go. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a car or a motorbike, but make sure you keep that shirt on or you’ll have to face the consequences. Just keep that A/C blasting and hold out for a little longer! 

james-barr-MsS4YEr1JWw-unsplash.jpgPhoto by James Barr on Unsplash


5. Don’t Drink and…Park? - Japan

In Japan, even if you’re just sitting stationary in the driver’s seat of your parked car, if you’re intoxicated, you can still get a DUI. We can’t help but respect how serious they are about the matter! So if you find yourself drinking way too much one late night out in Japan, it’s probably a better idea for you to just sleep it off elsewhere.

elena-kuchko-R1xsM8OBdjE-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Elena Kuchko on Unsplash

6. Honk Before Overtaking - India

On some roads in India, especially the narrow and curvy mountain paths, it’s mandatory that you honk before overtaking. Make your presence to the other driver known! It serves as both a polite heads-up and a vital safety precaution. 

mpho-mojapelo-l01nGFoOWTI-unsplash-1024x682.jpgPhoto by Mpho Mojapelo on Unsplash

7. Tanks Need Not Apply - Germany

The Autobahn in Germany, a federal controlled-access highway system, is renowned for its sections without speed limits. But if you thought it’s a complete free-for-all, think again. Turns out, it’s actually illegal for you to run out of fuel on the Autobahn. So if you plan on cruising down this highway, you better think ahead and fill up beforehand.

mehluli-hikwa-m4XijjbttD8-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Mehluli Hikwa on Unsplash

8. Splashing Pedestrians - Japan & UK

While we know driving into a massive puddle after a rainy day is a big temptation for many drivers, you’ll definitely want to make sure there are no pedestrians nearby if you happen to be in Japan or the UK. Why? Well, because it’s illegal there of course! You don’t want to be caught purposely or carelessly splashing pedestrians in these two countries.

cris-dinoto-MhXG7YOLbTQ-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Cris DiNoto on Unsplash

9. Animal Herding - South Africa

If you’re driving in South Africa, be prepared to yield for an unexpected sight: livestock! In this country, it’s the driver’s responsibility to stop if someone is herding animals across the road. You may potentially be stuck there for a while, so you best get settled in. 

simon-berger-SFbQKJpIlZI-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Simon Berger on Unsplash

10. No Sundays - Switzerland

In Switzerland, washing your car on a Sunday is illegal. Sounds pretty weird, right? That’s because the noise from the activity is considered a disturbance of the peace. Quiet Sundays are meant for relaxation and peace, so if your car is mucky from a Saturday outing, you’ll just have to wait till Monday.

ethan-sexton-pLRXgwOefDo-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Ethan Sexton on Unsplash


11. No Topless Driving - California, USA

The sunny and hot state of California might lure you into believing cruising topless under the hot sun is okay, but don’t give into that fantasy. It’s illegal for women to drive while topless in California; sunbathing at the beach is perfectly okay, but topless driving, not so much. 

arturo-rivera-9J2yHuHK7Ac-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Arturo Rivera on Unsplash

12. Whale Hunting From a Moving Vehicle - Tennessee, USA

Now this one is definitely a questionable one - Tennessee has a law in its book that prohibits anyone from shooting any game other than whales from a moving vehicle. Considering Tennessee is landlocked, it’s definitely quite the bizarre restriction! We sure wonder what the backstory is for this law. 

michael-blum-E2nqTHKxFeI-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Michael Blum on Unsplash

13. Public Transport Priority - Singapore 

As you go about your day driving along in Singapore, always remember that if you come across a public bus, you MUST give way. Failure to yield to these buses can land you an unwanted ticket. It’s their unique way of promoting efficient public transport, but also, safety. 

juan-encalada-6mcVaoGNz1w-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Juan Encalada on Unsplash

14. Reserve Water - Cyprus

In Cyprus, it’s a given that drivers must never drink and drive - but did you know this extends to drinking anything, even water? The reasoning is simple. It’s of utmost importance that driver’s keep their hands on the wheel at all times and keep their attention on the road. While it’s certainly a strict law, we can respect the reasoning behind it.

art-markiv-zAm1sdicGXc-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Art Markiv on Unsplash

15. Cabbies and Their Hay - Australia

Melbourne has a humorous law that requires taxi drivers to carry a bale of hay in their trunks. This archaic rule stems all the way back from when taxis were horse-drawn carriages. Although this isn’t enforced, it’s a whimsical and fun nod to history. 

dan-cristian-padure-UdTvbiNi8Z8-unsplash-1024x682.jpgPhoto by Dan Cristian Pădureț on Unsplash

16. No Rude Gestures - UAE

If you’re easily overtaken by road rage while driving, you definitely want to keep it under wraps if you’re in the United Arab Emirates. Displaying rude gestures or using offensive language to other drivers can land you heavy fines, or worse, even jail time!

andre-hunter-5otlbgWJlLs-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Andre Hunter on Unsplash


17. Clown Cars are Real - South Africa

In commercial Cape Town, there’s a strange by-law that prohibits more than two people wearing clown attire from riding in the same vehicle. How this came about, we have no idea. But this one was definitely weird enough for us to note down!

sandy-millar-NNtdOuq1hqc-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

18. Anti-Noise Campaign - France

If you’re visiting the romantic city of Paris, especially after dark, you better suppress the urge to honk your horn. It’s illegal to use your car horn in the city after 10:30 p.m. unless in cases of immediate danger. This law was implemented to combat noise pollution and ensure peace in the City of Lights.

julian-hochgesang-gSnyL1T935o-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash

19. Leave the Bear Behind - Missouri, USA

Do you happen to have a pet bear at home? Well you better think twice if you want to take it out for a spin in your car. In Missouri, it’s prohibited for anyone to drive around with an uncaged bear. It might sound “bear-y” odd, but we suppose it’s all about safety first!

mark-basarab-y421kXlUOQk-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Mark Basarab on Unsplash

20. Night Vision Restrictions, Denmark

Night owls in Denmark, listen up! If you're driving after dark, you need to perform a quick check of your vehicle before setting off — not just the tires or the brakes, but also ensuring your headlights and tail lamps are clean and clear of mud or grime. It's all about optimal visibility and safety on those long Nordic nights.

jules-pt-CT_8qZeXx78-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Jules PT on Unsplash

21. Eyes on the Skies - Spain

Spain sure keeps you on your toes with all these driving laws! Or should we say, on your eyes? If you wear glasses and it’s indicated on your driver’s license, you’re required to always have a second pair when driving. If you happen to misplace your backup glasses, you could be fined! 

david-travis-aVvZJC0ynBQ-unsplash.jpgPhoto by David Travis on Unsplash

22. All About Timing - Denmark

Before you even think of turning the ignition in Denmark, you must first check under the car. It sure sounds weird, but it’s the rule! The law, aimed at ensuring no one is hiding beneath your vehicle, might seem a bit excessive, but maybe they’re just exceptionally cautious about everyone’s safety.

david-leveque-esvWH-owWug-unsplash.jpgPhoto by David Levêque on Unsplash


23. Picky About Petrol - Nigeria

In Nigeria’s Federal Capital, Abuja, it’s illegal to buy fuel in jerry cans. So if you planned on bringing along jerry cans for your trip, you might want to leave it at home just to be safe. This regulation was introduced as a preventive measure against illegal fuel vending and hoarding. 

sippakorn-yamkasikorn-0aJOTBQfEFE-unsplash.jpgPhoto by sippakorn yamkasikorn on Unsplash

24. Squeaky Clean on Sundays - Russia

If you're roaming around in Russia, be wary of when you decide to give your car a bath. In some cities, washing your vehicle on a Sunday is strictly forbidden. The exact reason remains a bit nebulous, but some suggest it's linked to the tradition of Sunday being a day of rest. So, while you're taking a break, let your car bask in its weekend grime till Monday rolls around.

brad-starkey-ep8h7yvhfhk-unsplash-1.jpgPhoto by Brad Starkey on Unsplash

25. Horsey Night Rides - Pennsylvania, USA

In the state of Pennsylvania, any motorist who sights a group of horses coming their way must pull well off the road and cover their car with a blanket or dust cover. The goal here is to blend completely with the countryside until the horses pass. There’s a law in place that prevents drivers from spooking off the horses!

holly-mandarich-kCpCd6oQTCw-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Holly Mandarich on Unsplash

26. Paws and Laws - Alaska, USA

If you’re considering tethering your pet dog to the roof of your car (why you would, we don’t know), Alaska will kindly ask you to refrain. As strange as the law sounds, it’s a humane move to protect our four-legged companions.

emerson-peters-oBCT3obZ6OY-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Emerson Peters on Unsplash

27. Turtle Taxi - California, USA

In the sunny state of California, it’s illegal to use the street as a speed test ground, except there’s one exception: if you’re herding more than 2,000 sheep! Besides, if you’re able to wrangle that many sheep, you probably deserve a little leeway anyway. 

sean-thoman-67rtZAf_Jgw-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Sean Thoman on Unsplash

28. Decent Drive - California, USA

Alright, now this law here is a little too specific. In San Francisco, it’s deemed unlawful to dry or buff any vehicle with used underwear. Next time you’re considering any eco-friendly way to shine up your car or dry it after a good wash, maybe skip the briefs? Not sure why you would be using that as your drying material anyway!

blocks-fletcher-knaPUFaSYVI-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Blocks Fletcher on Unsplash

29. Drive-Thru Booze - Mississippi, USA

In a rather paradoxical move, while you should NEVER drink and drive under any circumstance, in Mississippi, they permit drive-thru liquor stores. Just never forget that you can buy it on the go, but don’t you dare even think about opening it! It’s not just for your safety, but for everyone else on the road too.

tim-cooper-ICKW5NBfhEw-unsplash-1024x683.jpgPhoto by Tim Cooper on Unsplash

30. Avoid the Playground - UK

This one seems like common sense, but in the United Kingdom, it’s completely illegal for anyone to drive a vehicle on a playground. Sounds like there was one terrible incident that the UK absolutely does not want repeated. So just keep that in mind, okay?

oakville-news-iPV9pQQrUDY-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Oakville News on Unsplash

31. Toot Before Tunnels - New Zealand

Here’s a really fun one! Down under in New Zealand, you’re required to honk your horn before entering a tunnel. This quirky rule is all about preventing collisions in the tunnel’s tight confines. It’s a quick and simple way to give drivers a heads up that you’re coming their way. 

aaron-burden-gmy25xvSkq8-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

32. No PJs at the Wheel - California, USA

Looks like there are plenty of weird driving laws down in California. Think twice before you do your late-night snack run in your PJs here in this state. It’s shockingly illegal for women to drive in their “nighty” or night gown! We all love a cozy drive, but Cali will insist you always dress for the occasion.

kristina-petrick-AqcgORY1aiM-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Kristina Petrick on Unsplash

33. Elephant Etiquette - Florida, USA

In the Sunshine State, if you’ve tied your elephant to a parking meter, you better be ready to pay the parking fee. Weirdly enough, of all things to be worried about, parking an elephant in a spot is a potential parking violation that you should be wary of. Not that this should ever really come up as a problem for you! 

nam-anh-QJbyG6O0ick-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Nam Anh on Unsplash

34. No Stranding the Bride - Greece

If you’re driving down the streets in Greece, never interrupt a wedding procession. Doing so is illegal! So if you spot a convoy of cars honking and celebrating, you should be ready to give way. Just don’t be in the way and you’ll be okay.

jeremy-wong-weddings-464ps_nOflw-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Jeremy Wong Weddings on Unsplash

35. Gorilla in the Backseat - Massachusetts, USA

Massachusetts has an exceptionally interesting law for animal lovers. It’s illegal to operate a car with a gorilla in the backseat. Front seat? The law remains silent. We seriously don’t recommend you testing it out for fun though.

mike-arney-rJ5vHo8gr2U-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Mike Arney on Unsplash

36. No Llamas in Cab - Georgia, USA

In the state of Georgia, you’ll be interested to know that you can’t tie your llama (or any other livestock) to a lamp post, tree, or parking meter. So unless you want to pay a hefty fine, you better not park your llama anywhere.

liudmila-shuvalova-0EHJJYcMuXQ-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Liudmila Shuvalova on Unsplash

37. Be Mindful of Military - Belarus

When driving in Belarus, there's an odd but essential rule to remember: it's illegal to run out of gas near or on a military base. If your fuel needle is dipping low, and there’s a military facility in sight, it’s advised to reroute quickly and find the nearest petrol station. Running out of fuel in proximity to a military establishment can lead to suspicions, fines, and a lot of explanations.

diego-gonzalez-nJI8WAqpn7Y-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Diego González on Unsplash

38. Sunday Serenity - Germany

While Germany’s Autobahn is known for its incredible speed, on regular streets in some parts of Germany, mechanics are forbidden on Sundays. Just like Switzerland, Germany practices Quiet Sundays. Meaning the noise might disturb the peaceful ambiance, so your car troubles will just have to wait until Monday.

roman-kraft-g_gwdpsCVAY-unsplash-1024x683.jpgPhoto by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

39. Music Volume Levels - Switzerland

Speaking of Switzerland, it’s illegal to slam your car door after 10 pm in this country. Not only that, but you also need to keep your music at a reasonable volume at all times. Basically, don’t disturb the peace with too much ruckus. They really take their quietness seriously!marcela-laskoski-YrtFlrLo2DQ-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Marcela Laskoski on Unsplash

40. Unhitched Horses - Colorado, USA

In the colorful state of Colorado, specifically in the town of Fountain, there's an old law still on the books. It states that you cannot leave your horse unhitched outside of popular establishments like saloons. While the wild west days are long gone, and you're more likely to park a Ford than a stallion, the law paints a vivid picture of the town's rich history.

lucia-macedo-xXLT52bAzkk-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Lucia Macedo on Unsplash

Navigating the global roads is a journey that’s sure to be filled with unexpected twists and turns, but knowing these quirks ensures you’re always ready for the next bump in the road. While some laws on this list are just downright weird and wacky, many prioritize safety, demonstrating that safe driving is focused all around the world.