A police officer can issue you a speeding ticket for driving too slowly. You must always bring your car to a full and complete stop at intersections governed by stop signs. When pedestrians are in a crosswalk, you have to stop and wait until each of them is all the way across the street before proceeding.
In fact, they are all on the books around the U.S. and most would agree they’re quite reasonable. However, there is a host of little known driving laws around the United States that can only be classified as bizarre.
In San Francisco for example, elephants must be on a leash when strolling down Market Street. Piles of horse manure must be less than six feet high on any street corner and women who drive in bathrobes can be ticketed. Actually, that last one is a statewide law found in the California Vehicle Code.
Further, it is illegal in California to shoot any wild game from a moving vehicle, unless it’s a whale. Sounds ridiculous when you think of it in terms of automobiles, but boats are covered under the vehicle code as well. By the way, you’ll also be found in violation of the law if you jump from a moving car at 65 miles per hour.
Like every other states’, Alabama’s Vehicle Code frowns upon driving the wrong way on a one-way street. However, you’ll get a pass for doing so in the Heart of Dixie if you have the forethought to affix a lantern to the front of your car. That is, as long as you make it a point to avoid driving while blindfolded. Alabama’s State Troopers won’t let you slide for that one, it’s expressly forbidden by law.
We’re having fun here, but the fact of the matter is willful violation of traffic laws is no laughing matter. In addition to placing your life and others’ at risk, if you’re ever involved in an automobile accident and it can be proven you’re committing a violation of the vehicle code was a contributing factor your auto insurance in California and just about every other state has the right to deny your claim.
So, if you’re driving in New Jersey, you’ll want to make it a point to avoid frowning at police officers. Female drivers in Louisiana should always make sure their husbands are available to wave a red flag in front of their cars before driving. Presumably, Louisiana’s single women are eternally conscribed to a life filled with taxis, Lyft or Uber — if they want to remain on the right side of the law.
In Massachusetts, you’d best leave your pet gorilla at home. However, if your pet gorilla absolutely has to go to the vet, or insists upon being taken out for a Sunday drive every now and then (as they are known to do); make sure you buckle the primate up in the front seat. It’s illegal to drive with a gorilla in the back seat.
We’re afraid to wonder what could have driven (no pun intended) Montana legislators to make it illegal to drive with sheep in your truck without a chaperone. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania insists motorists driving country roads at night must stop every mile to set off a flare or some other warning signal and wait 10 minutes before proceeding.
As you’ve probably guessed, many of these are holdovers from the early days of the automobile. However, of all of the old-fashioned little known driving laws around the U.S. here’s one that still makes sense: The State of Washington requires drivers with criminal intentions to stop at the city limits of a town in which they plan to commit a crime and phone the chief of police before entering the municipality.