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08 Jul 2015
Lia Schopmeyer - Digital marketing executive at Lia Kelly

11 strange driving laws around the world


Driving abroad can be tricky enough as it is, but these driving laws will leave you scratching your head.

Dalek sign
Nelo Hotsuma

We expect different driving laws outside the UK, but however you put this, these laws seem either very harsh or very strange - sometimes both.

1. No splashing – Japan

Car splashing
brett Jordan

No one likes to be splashed by a muddy puddle from passing cars but in Japan it’s actually illegal.

In a traditional display of Japanese courtesy, it’s against the law to splash mud or water on a pedestrian.

2. Don’t stop for pedestrians – China

J Aaron Farr

In Beijing the law protecting pedestrians is much less courteous - so much so that it’s illegal to stop for them.

This makes crossing the road something of a hazard.

3. Animal crossing - South Africa

Animals on road
Lee Coursey

In South Africa, it’s not just pedestrians that drivers need to be aware of.

Animals are given as much right to the roads as drivers, with motorists facing stiff fines if they fail to slow or stop for passing herds of livestock.

4. Wir fahren fahren fahren auf der Autobahn – Germany


If you’ve driven in Germany then you’ll know that much of the autobahn network – their equivalent of our motorway – has no speed limit.

Stopping or breaking down for any reason is strictly illegal, which includes being out of fuel. Keep your tank full when you’re driving here.

We’re not 100% certain on this, but it’s probably a legal requirement to blast out Kraftwerk while you’re driving on the autobahn too.

5. Sun’s out, guns in – Thailand

Shirtless men
David Shankbone

Travelling topless in Thailand is a no-no. This applies to men as well as women, and all motorists, whether it’s bike, car or tuk-tuk, have to obey.

If you can’t stand the heat and need to shed a layer, you’ll be slapped with a small fine. It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it.

6. When in Rome, get a permit – Italy

Michiel Jelijs

Historic zones in certain Italian cities are subject to a special permit. Drivers who ignore this can face a hefty fine.

These areas are called “zono traffic limitato”. Sat navs and GPS navigation often doesn’t pick up on these, so watch out if you’re using one to navigate around Italy.

7. No blind driving – Alabama , USA


In Alabama it’s illegal to drive while being blindfolded. All we can say is: “duh, obviously.”

We don’t know what happened there in the past that required this very specific law.

8. Don’t let the dogs out – Alaska

Dog and a car

In Alaska it’s illegal to tie a dog to the roof of your vehicle.

Perhaps the abundance of sledding dogs makes this necessary but it’s one of the more bizarre laws out there.

9. Think of the children – Denmark

Children in car
Ben Francis

Drivers in Denmark have to perform an unusual ritual before getting behind the wheel.

The law states that they must check for children who may be hiding underneath before setting off.

10. Keep it clean – Russia

Dirty car
Michael Hicks

In Moscow it’s all about cleanliness - police impose fines on anyone with a dirty car.

There’s no definition for what counts as "dirty" – it’s up to the officer, so in Russia it’s best to keep your motor looking tip-top to avoid a penalty.

11. Big plot twist - Costa Rica

Three beers lined up
South Granville

You’re allowed to have a cheeky beer while you’re driving in Costa Rica but don’t be fooled.

If they catch you with a blood alcohol level of more than 0.75% you’re going straight to jail. Do not pass go, do not collect £200.

The best thing to do, of course, is to not drink at all when you’re driving.


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