10 unusual driving laws

March 8th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

News.com.au reports on 10 unusual driving laws.

  1. Don’t eat while driving in Cyprus
  2. BYOB (bring your own breathalyser) in France
  3. Keep your car clean in Russia
  4. Don’t run out of fuel on Germany’s Autobahn
  5. Use your headlights 24 hours a day in Sweden
  6. Don’t shake your fist at other drivers in Cyprus
  7. Carry an extra pair of glasses while driving in Spain
  8. Don’t ride with a drunk driver in Japan
  9. Don’t drive blindfolded in Alabama
  10. Have a beer while driving in Costa Rica

The no blindfolded driving is my favourite.

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22 Responses to “10 unusual driving laws”

  1. mandk (930 comments) says:

    No. 10 is my favourite. Costa Ricans must have a beer while driving?

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  2. labrator (1,882 comments) says:

    I thought you could have a beer in NZ you just weren’t allowed to be drunk or has that changed?

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  3. TheContrarian (1,082 comments) says:

    In Syria you must give way to those entering a roundabout – the opposite of pretty much everywhere else in the world

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  4. berend (1,690 comments) says:

    Sorry “Use your headlights 24 hours a day in Sweden” is unusual? It’s the norm in Europe, and advised by the AA here. I always have my headlights on as statistics claim a 10% less chance to be involved in an accident.

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  5. Michael (902 comments) says:

    TheContrarian – Go watch the chaos around the Arch d’Triomphe in Paris where the rule is the same.

    Watch out for ‘third laning’ in Eastern Europe – basically you can overtake while all other traffic pulls to the side of the lanes to create enough width for a car to safely drive between them. Local drivers know about this, but I got caught out a couple of times because I didn’t check for cars driving in the middle of the road when I was waiting for a safe overtaking place behind some Trabant or Lada driver.

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  6. Odakyu-sen (552 comments) says:

    In Japan the police will go after the owner of the bar that sold the drinks to the driver they caught drunk driving. (Japan has zero tolerance to drunken driving, but the police only really enforce checkpoints near New Years.)

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  7. Odakyu-sen (552 comments) says:

    “I always have my headlights on as statistics claim a 10% less chance to be involved in an accident.”

    It’s probably because the kind of person who would conscientiously turn on their car headlights is probably more careful and cautious a driver than average. (Same goes for motorcycle riders who wear those ghastly fluoro-green vests.)

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  8. Johnboy (15,858 comments) says:

    Being a short-sighted chap and ex-pilot I can understand the Spanish rule.

    NZCAA rules even said that fellows like me had to have their second set of spec’s readily available.

    Many of the drivers you meet on the roads these days appear to need to be wearing at least two pairs of specs! :)

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  9. lazza (377 comments) says:

    One more rule …

    Don’t,when driving a LH Drive vehicle on a keep right continental road, get your Dog to signal when it is safe to pass.

    “After all … He/She … is only a Dog!”

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  10. Johnboy (15,858 comments) says:

    All my partners have been pedigree dogs/sheep though lazza. All their signals have been acceptible to me so far! :)

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  11. peterwn (3,232 comments) says:

    The (then) Auckland Harbour Bridge Authority passed a bylaw about running out of petrol on the bridge which would have been particularly disruptive before the Nippon clip-on’s. Seems that some cars of that era stopped on slopes as, if the tank was nearly empty, the remaining petrol would slosh away from the outlet, so an annoying number of cars ran out of petrol on the bridge.

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  12. lazza (377 comments) says:

    A Sheep can’t be trusted John boy. Could’nt watch the road ahead … for He’d/She’d be looking … “behind

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  13. alwyn (408 comments) says:

    Many years ago my brother showed me his Brunei driver’s licence. It had a road law in it which had a comma in the wrong place.
    As far as I remember it said something like

    “Report immediately any accident you may have, causing damage to person or property at the nearest Police Station”.

    The effect of this was to have a rule that demanded that if you had an accident you had to go to the Police Station and break a window or belt a policeman. What they meant of course was what it would have said if you moved the comma to after the word property.

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  14. Fentex (909 comments) says:

    Use your headlights 24 hours a day in Sweden

    Not so odd if you recall the campaign to improve road safety that includes this requirement as it’s statistically obvious that head lights on at all times improves road safety.

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  15. Johnboy (15,858 comments) says:

    Headlights on all day tends to support my argument that most drivers need two set’s of spec’s.

    I’d prefer a much more stringent drivers test so that it became mandatory to have some driving skill instead of having just enough ability to fill in the application form.

    Like can you read the state of the road ahead and anticipate situations before they arise and if so do you have the technical ability to minimise the effects on you and your vehicle.

    Nothing you see when you perambulate around our roads, watching other drivers, gives you any confidence that any of those
    parameters are being met in our current driver license system.

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  16. Eisenhower (137 comments) says:

    “I thought you could have a beer in NZ you just weren’t allowed to be drunk or has that changed?”

    Correct. There is no “open container” or forbidding the consumption of alcohol whilst driving laws, merely a blood/breath limit or driving under the influence and not able to maintain proper control.

    You can happily suck back a cold one whilst driving next to a cop, if you’re prepared for the lecture that follows.

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  17. labrator (1,882 comments) says:

    I always have my headlights on as statistics claim a 10% less chance to be involved in an accident.

    That makes sense in a country that spends half the year in the dark on ice but in a country blessed with sunshine and long summer days it makes no sense and destroys depth perception reducing overtaking opportunities.

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  18. Tookinator (219 comments) says:

    Buy a Volvo and see if you can turn the lights off…

    The NZ driving rule: If you are a courier driver/taxi driver and wish to double/triple park, block driveways and pedestrian access, and generally obstruct traffic flow You must have working hazard lights – as long as your hazards work you are allowed to do this.

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  19. Viking2 (11,332 comments) says:

    labrator (1,685 comments) says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    I always have my headlights on as statistics claim a 10% less chance to be involved in an accident.

    That makes sense in a country that spends half the year in the dark on ice but in a country blessed with sunshine and long summer days it makes no sense and destroys depth perception reducing overtaking opportunities.
    =====================
    Please your white self. I always have mine on when out of town limits. Its about sun and sun strike, and being seen.

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  20. gump (1,600 comments) says:

    @Tookinator

    “Buy a Volvo and see if you can turn the lights off…”

    ————————

    It’s actually pretty easy. You just pull the corresponding fuse and the “always on” head-light circuit is disabled.

    Just ask your service agent if you need help with this.

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  21. V (704 comments) says:

    In countries where the Sun ins low in the sky for alot of the time keeping your headlights on is a no-brainer, nothing unusual about it. Indeed in places like Canada the driving lights come on when you start the car and can’t be disabled.

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  22. ShawnLH (4,481 comments) says:

    Don’t eat while driving and don’t shale your fists at other drivers, both laws in Cyprus.

    Are they trying to tell us that the food is really bad and the people are prone to violence? ;)

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