Every state has some crazy laws, from not allowing you to carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket to not flicking boogers into the wind. Many of these crazy laws are extremely old and made sense in their own time, but some are new. Some are a matter of poor wording… and some are just downright strange.
Every state in the country has some crazy laws, from not allowing you to carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket to not flicking boogers into the wind. Some of the goofiest laws have to do with driving, possibly because the automobile, when it was first invented, was so completely different than anything that came before. Many of these crazy laws are extremely old and made sense in their own time, but have somehow been forgotten and never stricken from the books. Some are new. Some, like the law against not driving in reverse, are a matter of poor wording. And some are just downright strange. Here are a few of the silliest laws about cars, roads, and driving that are still on the books.
You know you can get a ticket for speeding, but some states and municipalities take it a bit too far. In Lowell, Ohio, it’s illegal to run a horse faster than five miles per hour, while California says that a car without a driver can’t exceed 60 mph. No wonder Ohio isn’t famous for horse racing. And since driverless cars aren’t yet available to the public, we’re not sure what inspired the California law, but…it’s a good rule of thumb to have a driver behind the wheel if your car is moving.
Connecticut takes an even dimmer view of speeders: not only are you banned from riding your bike over 65 mph, in New Britain it’s illegal for fire trucks to go faster than 25—even if they’re on their way to a fire. Let’s just hope you have a very big water hose.
In Glendale, Arizona, simply leaving your driveway may be a problem—cars, for some reason, may not be driven in reverse. At least you can go car shopping on Sunday, though; in Pennsylvania, it’s illegal to sell a car—or any other motorized vehicle—on Sunday.
Pennsylvania isn’t the only killjoy on the list, though. In Florida, skateboarding is illegal unless you have a permit, and Baldwin, California bans riding a bicycle in a swimming pool. Another cherished childhood dream crushed by bureaucracy.
California wasn’t always the bastion of animal-rights groups that it is now. It’s not legal to herd a flock of more than 2,000 sheep down Hollywood boulevard at the same time, nor are you allowed to lead your camel along Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs — at least between 4 and 6 in the evening. We’re assuming it’s ok during the rest of the day. On the bright side, horse manure can’t be piled more than six feet high on the street corners of San Francisco. What a relief!
Colorado takes drunk driving seriously. Not only will you get a ticket for driving your car under the influence, you’ll get one for driving your horse drunk too. Remember–friends don’t let friends ride drunk, and always have a designated rider. Alabama is much more laid back; although you are prohibited from driving while blindfolded, you can drive the wrong way down a one-way street… provided you have a lantern affixed to the front of your auto.
While crazy laws like this may still be on the books, testing them probably isn’t a good idea. If you drive the wrong way down a one-way, not only are you likely to cause an accident, you’re probably going to get a ticket—lantern or no lantern. While citing these old laws probably won’t help if you do get a ticket, a defensive driving course may. If you’ve received a traffic ticket, your traffic court may dismiss the citation and avoid adding points to your license if you complete a defensive driving course. And if you haven’t had a ticket but enroll voluntarily, your insurance company may reward you with a safe driver discount.
One last word of warning: if you’re ever stopped in New Jersey, slap a smile on your face. It’s illegal to “frown” at a police officer there. When frowning can get you a ticket, who knows what an actual scowl might do?