Fined for fluffy dice? Six strange motoring laws from around the world

By Jason Woosey Time of article published Oct 29, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - Driving in a different country can be a daunting experience, particularly for South Africans as most countries drive on the left side of the road. Adding to the challenge of course, is that different countries have different road rules and some of them are actually quite strange.

UK dealer group Brindley Garages recently did some research on how much the average driver actually knows about foreign driving laws and it found that just 10 percent of the over 1500 driver surveyed answered all the questions correctly, while on average drivers only understood seven of the 14 driving laws that they were asked about in the questionnaire.

This is not surprising, however, given how obscure some of these laws can be.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the world’s strangest road rules.

1. Driving a black car on Sundays

In the US state of Colorado, it is reportedly illegal to drive a black car on a Sunday. However, this is likely a very old ‘hangover’ law that never got taken off the books and Fox News says it’s a near certainty that this law is no longer enforced.

2. Carrying a breathalyser

If you’re driving in France it is compulsory to have a breathalyser kit in your car. The government introduced this law in 2012 in the hope that it would help curb road fatalities due to drunk driving. However at the time the BBC reported that some motorist groups suspected that the law was as a result of “clever industry lobbying” but companies that produce the kits.

3. A fluffy dice dangling from the mirror

Of course we all like to laugh at those people who drive with a fluffy dice hanging from their rear-view mirror, but in the US state of Illinois, drivers can actually get fined for this, Brindley reports. In fact, motorists there get fined for having anything hanging from the mirror, including air fresheners. Drivers also report getting fined for anything obscuring the windscreen, including GPS devices. That probably means Elvis dolls are out of the question too. Sorry folks.

4. Splashing pedestrians

Splashing a pedestrian by driving through a puddle next to them is really not a nice thing to do, unless it’s someone who has double crossed you in a big way. But in Japan you can actually get a fine for doing so. And it might be harder to avoid than you think, given the severe typhoons that the country experiences in summer.

5. Washing a car with your underwear

In San Francisco it is illegal to buff or dry a car with previously-used underwear that’s been repurposed as a rag, Fox News reports. However, it appears that this law only applies to commercial businesses - which would make sense of course. Private car owners will still probably get away with flashing around their old nickers in their driveway.

6. Having a dirty car

It is widely reported that drivers in Moscow can be fined for having a dirty car. Apparently police officers have the power to determine whether or not a car is too dirty. However, some sources dispute the fact that cars can attract a fine simply for being too dirty, saying it’s a misinterpretation of the law stating that number plates cannot be obscured/dirty. Which probably applies just about everywhere in the world.

IOL Motoring

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