Guest Post: 10 Weirdest American Driving Laws

You’re a good driver and you follow all of the rules of the road. You know who turns first at a four-way intersection, what to do in case of an accident and how to use your turn signals. However, many states across the country have strange, unexpected and downright bizarre driving laws. While some of these laws are so weird or obscure that even the police don’t know them, others are enforced and could land you a ticket. Learning about all of the driving laws in your state helps you save money on car insurance by keeping rates low when you avoid unnecessary citations. Below you’ll find the strangest driving laws in the US, so be on the lookout if you find yourself on the road of one of these places. Click read more.

  1. Tying a dog or other live animal to the roof of your car is obviously cruel. You’d think it was simple common sense, but the lawmakers in Alaska found it necessary to make it officially illegal. Other states have made it illegal to carry a pet in a carrier outside the car due to stress on the animal, but only Alaska’s law explicitly mentions tying the animal directly to the roof of the vehicle.
  2. Some drivers in Arkansas must have caused a ruckus and ruined the enjoyment of a meal for the state to enforce its weirdest driving law. When driving by an establishment serving cold drinks or a cold cut sandwich, it’s illegal to honk at the restaurant, picnic or party if it is after 9 p.m. Solution: Save your honking for earlier in the day or just get out of your car to express your enthusiasm for sandwiches.
  3. Hunters in California need to avoid shooting game from their vehicle unless they want a ticket and a bump in their auto insurance charges. However, it is perfectly legal to shoot whales from your car or truck.
  4. Some laws make sense from a safety standpoint, but cause some serious confusion. Glendale, Arizona has banned driving in reverse after a few drivers attempted to navigate their cars backwards and failed to do so. This law makes sense when considering long periods of backwards driving, but the odd wording of the law seems to make reversing the vehicle illegal in any sense. Getting out of most parking spaces must be tricky when it’s illegal to back up.
  5. Cruising through the graveyard is fine in Florida, as long as you stay on the paths or roads created for vehicles. A few drivers attempted to make shortcuts over graves and markers and made this law a necessary part of the rule books. Watch the graves, people!
  6. California wants to make sure all passengers are safe by keeping the vehicle within reasonable speed limits. The Sunshine State has politely asked that vehicles going 60 miles per hour or more have a driver. Extremely fast remote control cars may have been  responsible for this one. Avoid jumping in and out of moving vehicles as well to stay within the law, although this is good advice no matter what state you live in.
  7. Some weird driving laws are obviously created for the lawmaker’s benefit. State assembly members can’t be ticketed for any driving offenses during the months when the assembly is in session. No one else in the state government gets an exemption from the driving laws during their time in office. Conspiracy?
  8. Minnetonka, Minnesota grew tired of their roads being muddy and dirty. Instead of hiring street sweepers, they made it illegal for a vehicle to have mud or other substances on the tires while on the road. Keep your tires clean in this city or you’ll get a ticket.
  9. Make a detour around the town of Scituate, Rhode Island when trying to bring a six pack of beer home from the store. While laws against opened alcohol containers in a vehicle make sense, this town doesn’t allow closed and sealed alcohol in the vehicle either. There’s no word from the town on how exactly you’re supposed to transport a tasty beverage home if you’re within city limits.
  10. South Carolina’s city of Hilton Head must have had a problem with cars becoming mini-landfills to make their strangest driving law. It is illegal in the city to store trash inside your vehicle. The law doesn’t specify a certain amount of trash, so pick up any stray snack wrappers or old receipts hidden under the seat before heading to the beach.
Each state has had a handful of bad drivers who make weird mistakes and try to defend their actions by claiming that it is perfectly legal. This has led to the creation of strange statues and regulations regarding the operation of a motor vehicle. While, to you, it may be common sense to not to tie your pet to the roof of your car or jump out of your vehicle, someone has already caused enough trouble to create a new law about it.

This guest post article was written and provided by David Brenner who is a freelance writer and online consultant for The Hartford and many auto industry websites.

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