Let’s face it: traffic laws may have been written in the interest of public safety, but they’re generally carried out to enhance the revenue of a city’s budget. I get the whole speeding and reckless driving thing, but how about pulling drivers over who block the left lane? How about enforcing cell phone bans and texting bans? It would seem that policing these infractions would actually make the roads safer and generate revenue.
Some states and municipalities take the prize for bizarre driving laws. The bulk of these are totally unnecessary and should be dictated by common sense. The rest just go to show you that you really can be stopped at almost any time for violating some ridiculous law that you never knew existed.
Here are my ten favorites from around the United States. Don’t think that we’re alone here, because tomorrow I’ll cover the ten strangest motor vehicle laws from around the world.
• In Alabama, it’s illegal to drive while blindfolded. I couldn’t find anything that said it was illegal to drive while blind, which should give you lots more designated driver options.
• In Alaska, it’s illegal to tether a dog to the roof of a car. I don’t think the law applies to other animals, so feel free to carry your goat, pot bellied pig, wolverine or monkey on the roof. They smell worse than the dog does, anyway.
• In Chico, California, it’s against the law to plant rutabagas in the roadway. This isn’t a big deal, since I don’t know a single person who eats rutabagas. Besides, we all know the number one cash crop in California isn’t a vegetable, but it’s a really bad idea to plant that in the roadway.
• In Derby, Kansas, it’s a misdemeanor offense to screech your tires while driving. Since it’s damn hard to screech your tires while parked, it’s probably best to avoid Derby, Kansas, entirely.
• In Topeka, Kansas, it’s illegal to transport dead poultry along Kansas Avenue. If you just drove down from Alaska with chickens tethered to your roof, make sure you check them for a pulse before driving on Kansas Avenue.
• In Rockville, Maryland, swearing from a vehicle is a misdemeanor offense. You’re OK to swear in your vehicle, or stop your vehicle, get out and swear, just don’t swear and drive.
• In Sag Harbor, New York, it’s illegal to disrobe in your car. Get your freak on somewhere else, dogging fans.
• In Scituate, Rhode Island, it’s against the law to drive with beer (and other alcohol, presumably) in your car. Unlike other locations where you can’t drive with an open container, Scituate doesn’t even allow you to drive with a sealed container. Just remember to slam your King Cobra 40 in the 7-11 parking lot and you should be fine.
• Hoarders beware: in Hilton Head, South Carolina, it’s illegal to store trash in your vehicle that may attract rats. I’m guessing this includes Nickelback CDs as well as McDonalds wrappers.
• Good news for drivers in West Virginia: it’s NOT illegal to scavenge road kill, be it yours or someone else’s. If it’s a chicken, just be careful if your travels take you to Topeka, Kansas.