All drivers are (or should be) aware of the rules of the road. Don’t drink and drive. Red means stop, green means go. Pedestrian crossings are treated as stop streets, and speed limits must be adhered to at all times.
However, if you think some of South Africa’s road rules can be ridiculous, then it should bring comfort to you that there are even more insane rules in other parts of the world.
Here are a few truly bizarre traffic regulations from around the globe that will leave you grateful for being a driver in South Africa:
- Don’t eat while drinking or driving in Cyprus. Driving while under the influence of alcohol, or drinking and driving is a no-no basically everywhere. But did you know that you are not allowed to eat or drink (anything!) while driving in Cyprus? Yes, even water! A drive-through may not be that popular on this Mediterranean Island.
- In Oklahoma, USA, it is illegal to read a comic book while driving. ‘But I just need to finish one more page!’ We wonder why comic books are specifically mentioned?
- In Denver, Colorado, you are not allowed to drive a black car on Sundays.Good excuse to buy that pink ‘Sundays Only’ Cadillac?
- In Japan, if you splash water on a pedestrian (even accidentally) while driving, you will receive a hefty Best not to drive in the rain then.
- In Alabama, USA, it is illegal to operate a vehicle barefoot or blindfolded.Surely it should be illegal to drive a vehicle while blindfolded everywhere in the world?
- Get out your suds and polish, because in Russia and Romania, you will be fined (quite heavily) for driving a dirty car.Car wash businesses must boom in these countries!
- In Rockville, Maryland, you are forbidden from swearing in your vehicle. This appears to have originated from their other law which prohibits swearing within earshot of other people. It must be hard to vent road rage in this American city!
- In California, USA, women are prohibited from wearing a bathrobe while driving and no one is allowed to shoot at wild game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale. What did the whale ever do to you?
- In Manila, you are not allowed to drive your vehicle on a Monday if your license plate ends in a 1 or 2.
- In South Africa, animals have the right of way on all roads. How many people are late for work while waiting for a pride of lions to finish taking a nap on the highway?
- In Saudi Arabia, women are not permitted to operate a vehicle. This is just unfair. Hopefully they are chauffeured around in really fancy limousines, at the very least.
- In Massachusetts, USA, you are prohibited from driving with a gorilla in your backseat. Can he sit in the front seat then? No? This must be why you never see hitch-hiking gorillas in Massachusetts.
- In Arkansas, USA, you are breaking the law if you honk your car hooterin the vicinity of any place that sells cold drinks or sandwiches after 9 pm. But what if you’re hungry? What if your low blood sugar has made you impatient?
- The next time that you’re in Florida, USA, you will need to find somewhere else to keep your elephant, goat or alligator when you run into the store.In this American state, it is illegal to tie these animals to a parking meter without feeding them (and the meter).
- In New Jersey, USA, it is illegal to frown at a traffic officer. Keep a smile on that dial, even when he’s writing you a hefty fine. Oh wait; you’re frowning because the sun is in your eyes, are you? Too bad.
These are just a few of the crazy traffic regulations that you will encounter around the world. Some of them are so baffling that it makes you wonder why on earth they were created in the first place.
A good question to ask is whether or not your car insurance company will pay out if you crash your car while driving blindfolded in Alabama, or get into a fender bender in Massachusetts when the gorilla in your backseat shoves a banana in your face. Probably not… right?
Before travelling to any destination, ensure you familiarise yourself with their traffic regulations if you are going to drive. This will eliminate possible arguments with the traffic officers of the country.