There are many times we all think, "gee, that's stupid," like why you have to go from a highway speed to 40 miles per hour on a particular stretch of road, or why one-way streets are allowed anywhere. Then, there are some laws that make us scratch our heads a bit–whether they are backed by policy or just archaic rules that never got updated.
Imagine traveling to a foreign country and encountering some of these traffic regulations:
- No shirt, no service? If you're driving in Thailand, you must be wearing a shirt.
- Meanwhile, in Germany, you can drive in the buff because your car is considered private.
- However, if you run of out gas on the Autobahn, or crash while driving barefoot, that's a traffic infraction.
Animals and Pets
- If your dog is a passenger in your car, he or she better be buckled up.
- Camels have the right of way in the United Arab Emirates. Somehow, this is not entirely surprising, is it?
- If you're driving in South Africa and a herder signals he wants to cross the road, you have to stop for him and his herd.
Drinking and Driving
- No drinking and driving in Cyprus–literally. Not even water. Do you think this is actually a good way to minimize pee breaks? You're not allowed to eat behind the wheel either.
- In France, you are required to carry a breathalyzer kit in your car or motorbike and must produce it if requested by the gendarmes.
Items You Must Have With You
- In Spain, if you wear prescription glasses, you also need an extra pair with you in the car.
- If you're a hackney carriage (cab) in Britain, you must carry a bag of oats as well as a bale of hay.
- Turkish drivers are required to have in their cars at all times, a first aid kit, a reflective triangle, and a fire extinguisher.
- In Estonia, drivers must carry two wheel chocks with them (blocks to be positioned under the wheels).
Rules of the Road
- Your headlights stay on whenever you're driving in Scandinavia. It could be bright and sunny–you're still required to keep them on.
- While Saudi Arabian women are allowed to own cars, they're not allowed to drive them, and when you get to Mecca, there are highway lanes for Muslims and non-Muslims.
- No splashing pedestrians by driving through puddles in Japan.
- In Singapore, you are not allowed to drive within 50 ft of a pedestrian. Or chew bubble gum in public.
- You are not allowed to start your car in Denmark before checking for people underneath it.
- In Luxembourg, all cars must have windshield wipers, even if they don't have windshields.
- In Russia, you can be fined for driving in a dirty car.
- If it's Monday in Manila, Philippines and your registration ends in a 1 or 2, you're walking today, because you aren't allowed to drive.
- Parking in Spain can be odd, literally. In some Spanish cities, you can only park on the side of the street with uneven number addresses.
If you're planning to rent a car when you're traveling abroad, hopefully you will have the foresight to do a little research on traffic laws, because traffic tickets are a downer in any country. As for us, we hope that city planners in other countries do their best to help out foreign drivers (and their own) by using a lot of signage.
Of course, you can do your part to help your fellow drivers by alerting them to applicable road rules with easy-to-understand and informative signs. We have an extensive catalogue of signs and decals. Ask for a quote, or contact us to find out how we can help.