The best thing about these strange driving laws is that you just know that someone had to have done something odd for lawmakers to decide they need to make things official. While most of the wacky laws you’ll hear about elsewhere are nothing more than urban legends, these ones are very real.
We have no idea why some of these laws were created, but if the goal was our amusement, they’re definitely accomplishing that.
You’re not allowed to drive for one day every week
Manila’s infrastructure wasn’t initially built to accommodate the amount of people that live in the densely populated bustling city today, so traffic became a major issue. In response, Metro Manila started their “vehicle volume reduction program” in 1995, restricting everyone to driving only six days a week. Since making everyone stop driving on the same day would only increase the traffic during the other six, the day of week on which you can’t drive is determined by the last digit of your license plate. Violating this law will incur a fine of 300 Pisos (around $5.70 USD) for your first three offenses.
You’re not allowed to pump your own gas
Oregon and New Jersey, USA
It took until January of this year for it to become legal for Oregonians in counties of less than 40,000 people to fill up their own tanks. This means that up until this new law passed, 18 counties were not allowed to have self-serve gas stations. Oregon’s legislature apparently had 17 reasons for banning the practice in the first place, most of which are safety-related. The wildest thing about this law is that the one in New Jersey is still in effect!
You have to keep a breathalyzer in your vehicle
This regulation is a weird one because it is technically a legal requirement, but the fine for not following it was postponed indefinitely by the French government in 2013. Basically, there is no consequence to disobeying this rule, though it could be reinforced in the future. It seems like this law is more of a symbolic gesture to remind drivers not to drink and drive. That, or law enforcement was just running low on breathalyzers. Either way, if you’re driving in France, you should probably have one in case they start enforcing this one again (also because it’s the right thing to do).
Horse-drawn sleighs must have at least two bells
The idea behind this law is that two bells are better than one when it comes to warning other vehicles of your presence. While that is accurate, these days an extra bell isn’t going to do much against a dozen roaring engines. It also begs the question, what happened to the one-belled sleigh that must have sparked the creation of this law? We hope no horses were harmed in the making of this law.
Rockville, Maryland, USA
If you’re driving in Rockville, you’d better keep any road rage under control. Cursing or using “obscene language” anywhere near a street or sidewalk is a misdemeanor. Now this is a law we can get behind. It’s natural to get a little frustrated from time to time, but cussing won’t make the person in front of you a better driver. This also means fewer people blasting expletive-heavy music so loud it rattles your teeth. Wait… maybe that’s why they made this law in the first place!
Taxi drivers have to pay to play
Finland doesn’t joke around with their copyright laws. In 2002 Finland’s Supreme Court decided that turning on the radio in a taxi constitutes as a public performance. Cab drivers now have to pay royalties (an annual fee around 18 USD) to be able to play music for their passengers, so, unsurprisingly, some cabbies now opt to drive in silence.