We’ve all sat with the Rules of the Road book before taking our first driver’s test. It’s pretty straightforward stuff. Come to a stop at a stop sign, use your blinker when changing lanes, and don’t swerve around a school bus dropping off kids. These are things we all instinctively abide by when we’re on the road.
But beyond those basic rules lie some genuinely bizarre ones that certain towns and states have enacted. Some are relics of a bygone era, while others aim to stop a specific problem in the area. Regardless, here are a few weird rules that you hopefully never have to deal with.
All states require your license plate to be clean enough to be seen by other motorists, but the town of Minnetonka, Minnesota, has taken that much farther. It is illegal to drive with dirty tires. The upper-class suburb considers it a public nuisance to track dirt and mud across their streets. So if you do head through that town, you might want to hit the car wash first.
No Honking After 9 pm
Little Rock, Arkansas had a problem back in the 1930s. People would pull up to drive-in diners and honk their horns for service. This didn’t make the neighbors happy, so they implemented a ban on it after 9 pm. While you might think this is a long-forgotten law in the books, the city to this day strictly enforces it.
Honking Horns is Required
In Rhode Island, honking isn’t just encouraged, it’s required. The state says that if you’re passing another vehicle, you must give them a honk to let them know. So if you happen to venture through the tiny state, the drivers aren’t rude; you’re just driving slow.
Oregon and New Jersey have the distinct honor of being the two states that don’t allow drivers to pump their own gas. It’s full service or bust. While Oregon has loosened those restrictions a bit in rural areas, others can be fined up to $500 for an infraction. Let’s hope they’re checking your tires and giving the windshield a cleaning while you wait.
No Hanging Air Fresheners
If you’re trying to mask the stink in your car with a pack of Little Trees or some fancy hanging air fresheners, you might have to think twice. Six states, including California and Illinois, make this illegal. While it doesn’t expressly state air fresheners and doesn’t seem to be enforced much, it does mention any object that can block your view of the road. That means no fuzzy dice either.
CustomAirFresheners.net, a maker of customized air fresheners, recommends drivers only leave them up when the car is parked if you’re concerned about getting a ticket. When driving, you can store it in your glove compartment or center console. Be careful when setting them down on a dash though, the inks can run in extreme heat and cause a big-time mess.
A Little Discretion Required
The city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho has a unique way of dealing with those looking to get frisky in the backseat of their parent’s vehicle. A police office must honk or flash their lights and allow three minutes for the overzealous participants inside to compose themselves. Whether this is enforced or not is another story, but it may help limit some embarrassing situations.
Stop Before Using Hazard Lights
This is a bit of a head-scratcher, but Hawaii bans the use of hazard lights while a car is moving. Don’t believe us? It’s right there on Page 73 of the Hawaii Drivers Manual. We’re not sure how you’d warn others of your car malfunctioning, but that’s the law.
Clean up Your Car
If you’ve decided to use the floor of your car as a dumping ground for fast food wrappers and other garbage, stay away from Hilton Head, South Carolina. The town has made it illegal to have trash in your car. It’s a relatively vague statute, so we’re not sure if that means an empty water bottle or a bunch of hefty bags of trash.
No Changing in the Car
This law can be found in many towns across the country and doesn’t just relate to doing so in a moving vehicle. You can be ticketed for changing in the backseat, something many of us have done in our lifetime. It’s a way to stop people from using their car as an intimate playground, but definitely is a bummer for those who need to change in and out of work uniforms.
Keep an Eye on the Fuel Gauge
Being stranded with an empty gas tank is a terrible feeling that will ruin your day. But the town of Youngstown, Ohio has decided to make it just a bit worse. If they catch you on the side of the road with no gas, it’s a misdemeanor that results in an unfortunate fine. They’ll even tow your car away if you aren’t back fast enough.
No Dead Chickens
Topeka, Kansas has decided to take a stand against the scourge that is driving with dead chickens in the car. So much so that they’ve created a law that bans it. Now how this related to your trip to Kentucky Fried Chicken is a matter of interpretation. But it’s in the book.
This one might help curb some road rage. The town of Rockville, Maryland has decided to make it a misdemeanor crime to swear at someone while driving. So when you get cut off, you’ll have to keep the language PG.
No Jumping at High Speeds
The city of Glendale, California doesn’t mind if you jump from your moving vehicle; they just ask that you keep the car under 65MPH if you choose to. To be safe, we recommend not jumping out of moving cars going under 65MPH too.
Leave the Bathrobe at Home
California is particular when it comes to its dress code in the car. Women are forbidden from wearing bathrobes or nighties while driving. So think again if you make a run for some late-night fast food without putting on some real clothes.