Around the world in 80 fines… or thereabouts

Around the world in 80 fines… or thereabouts

The recent changes to the Highway Code have been widely covered in the news. Everything from cyclist priority to phone use whilst driving is being hotly debated. Touching your phone whilst behind the wheel could now result in a fine of £200 and 6 penalty points. As such, we thought it was the perfect time to look at what some of the strange laws and some of the corresponding fines from around the world.

In the UK, we have very different laws to other parts of the globe. For example, in the UK, drivers give way to pedestrians, in Beijing however, it is illegal to stop for pedestrians! But for every weird and wonderful law abroad, we have laws that, no doubt, appear equally strange to other countries. In the UK, rule 148 of the Highway Code states that listening to music too loudly can be distracting and will land you with a £100 fine as well as 3 points on your license. In extreme cases this could result in a fine of up to £5,000 and a driving ban from your local authority.

Some of the more bizarre, unique, and specific laws include it being illegal for women to wear a dressing gown whilst driving in California. This is most likely an antiquated law from a more modestly dressing era that has yet to be changed. We doubt it is ever enforced.

Another from the US is that it’s illegal to drive whilst blindfolded (which seems like a rather obvious, yet essential law to have anywhere) but it’s ok to drive the wrong way down a one-way street, but only if, you’ve got a lantern attached to the front of your car!

If you’re thinking of heading to Spain for your Summer holiday, bear in mind that if you decide to drive whilst you’re out there that getting behind the wheel for a drive in flip-flops can result in a 200 euro fine (around a £167 fine that’ll be coming out of your holiday money!).

Here are some of the strangest laws and the reasons why they exist:

The Somebody’s-Done-This-Before

Most car safety laws come into being, in an attempt, to stop actions that have gone before. But when you look at the following laws, it’s hard to imagine anyone carrying these actions out!

  • In Alaska, you are not allowed to tie a dog to the roof of your car. Why would someone ever do this? We hope the dog in question survived to tell the tale!
  • In the state of Florida, by law, if you tie an elephant, alligator, or goat to a parking meter, you must pay the meter fare. We know local councils like to get their money’s worth, but this one seems to take the biscuit. Could alligators really be classed as a mode of transport?
  • In California it is illegal to shoot an animal from your car, unless it is a whale! We can see how hunting from a vehicle may have happened in the past, but it’s the specific allowance of shooting a whale from your car that is unusual. How many people could shoot a whale from the shore, let alone their car? And why would they even want to?
  • In Denmark, it is the law for you to check for any children hiding underneath your car before you set off. We really hope hide-and-seek games in Denmark do not involve crouching under vehicles.
  • In Thailand, it’s illegal for any motorist to drive topless whether you’re driving a bike, car, or Tuk Tuk. Riding topless on a bike seems like a good way to lose some skin if you fall.

The Strange but True

Some laws seem unusual on the face of it, but when you dig a little deeper make a bit more sense. Then there are other laws that just seem to have no rhyme or reason.

  • In the Philippines it’s illegal to drive on Mondays if the license plate ends in a 1 or 2. On Tuesdays it’s 3 and 4. On Wednesday it’s 5 and 6. Thursday, 7 and 8. Finally on Friday, it’s 9 and 10. This is due to their Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program. Although it may sound unnecessarily complicated, it’s a simple road space rationing scheme designed to reduce traffic congestion which has been in place since 1995.
  • A dirty car in Russia can lead to you getting a fine of up to 2000 Ruble – that’s £19! The law is due to a belief that the cleaner you are, the closer you are to God.
  • In San Francisco it’s illegal to dry your car with used / dirty underwear. Surely, recycling old garments is a good thing? Perhaps not if they are still dirty though.
  • In Switzerland you can’t wash your car on a Sunday.
  • In California, it is illegal for women to drive wearing a dressing gown. This is most likely an old law that has been forgotten about.

The Oddly Sensible

Finally, there are the laws that are so sensible and obvious that you wonder why they require a law at all!

  • It’s illegal in Australia to put your limbs out of the window when driving unless you are trying to signal to another driver. The fine is $337 AUS (£177). This probably makes sense if you don’t want to lose any of those limbs to oncoming traffic!
  • In the UK it’s illegal to drive with snow on your roof. The highway code advises to remove all snow that might fall before driving. If the snow falls and distracts you or other drivers it can result in a £60 fine and 3 points on your license.
  • In Greece it’s illegal to drive whilst smoking a cigarette. Any distraction whilst driving that impairs your hands seems sensible to avoid.
  • In Japan it’s against the law to splash mud or water on a pedestrian.
  • In Spain, driving in flip-flops can result in a 200 Euro (£167) fine. It’s no surprise given how easy it is for flip-flops to fall off or get stuck under the brake pedal.
  • In Cyprus it’s illegal to eat or drink whilst driving, even if it’s water! The fine for doing so is 80 Euros (£70).

Now you’re aware of some of the fines and laws, and you’re looking for bad credit car finance, we offer second-chance car loans that you can have a look at here.