No matter what state you live in, most traffic laws are easy to abide by. Online defensive driving courses are a great way to familiarize yourself with some of the more general and important rules of the road, but there are some obscure laws that may seem surprising to you. Here are some of the strangest but real driving laws in America:
New Jersey’s No Dice Law
In this state, drivers are forbidden from hanging anything from the rear-view mirror. This applies to fuzzy dice, accessories, air fresheners and religious items. The laws are intended to prevent obstructions to the drivers’ views, and residents report that the offense is frequently penalized.
Minding the Animals
Pennsylvania goes to great lengths to protect livestock and animals on rural roads. The laws state that drivers must “send up a rocket signal” every 10 minutes when they take these roads at night. It gets much more ridiculous. If you come across a team of horses, you must pull over and cover the car completely. Crazy right? It gets worse. If the horse or horses refuse to pass the car, it must be disassembled and hidden.
Your Truck Is Too Tall
Massachusetts sets very clear regulations on how much a person can lift their truck. There is a formula to it, relating the lift height to the wheel base. The full formula is as follows: multiply the wheel track by the wheelbase and divide by 2200. That is the “tallest” the MA officer squad will allow your truck to be.
Virginia’s Progressive Lawmaking
In the city of Waynesboro, VA it is still illegal for women to drive on Main Street. Fortunately, there is an exception. If the husband is waving a red flag while walking ahead of the car, then women are off the hook. We’d like to believe that this is an old law that simply hasn’t been stricken from the books yet. Regardless, it’s still there.
That Color Can’t Go Here
Many cities have strange laws that apply to the color of motor vehicles. In Denver, you can’t drive black cars on a Sunday. Perhaps stranger, Minneapolis outlaws driving red cars on Lake Street.
California and Tennessee lawmakers have something in common… both have gone through great pains to protect wildlife in their borders. It is illegal to shoot mammals from within a vehicle. There is one odd exception to the rule. Whales are not protected by this legislature. One has to wonder: Is this an oversight or something personal?
You Can’t Pump Gas
Many motorists admit to breaking this law, but in Oregon and New Jersey, it is illegal to pump your own gas. Supposedly the laws were put in place to minimize fire dangers, and the fines for violation can be as severe as $500.
Alabama doesn’t closely regulate one-way travel. Across the board, if you feel the need to go against clearly marked, directional routes, you are perfectly within your rights. The catch? You have to hang a lantern on the front of your car.
No matter what mood you happen to be in when an officer pulls you over in New Jersey, it is illegal to frown at him!
NY defensive driving schools can prepare you for almost anything, but you still might be surprised by these obscure instances. Hope this was a fun break from the more serious aspects of driving, and stay safe out there!