Weird Driving Laws from Around the Globe

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Did you know that driving a dirty car in Russiainfo-icon could net you a fine of up to 2,000 roubles

Whether or not Russia is on your bucket list of countries to visit, it pays to familiarize yourself with the laws of wherever you’ll be traveling to. And that includes the rules of the road.

Here’s a look at four of the oddest rules of the road from around the globe. Prepare to be amazed.

1. Publicly Cursing - Maryland

If you’re driving in Maryland and get annoyed by a lousy driver, think twice before you wind down the window and give the offending driver a piece of your mind. You can be charged and handed a $100 fine if you’re caught cursing in public. So, avoid the road rage and think good thoughts behind the wheel -- even if other drivers are getting on your nerves.

Things can get more dicey if you drive a motorcycle since you're more at risk on two wheels than on four. If you drive your motorcycle on a road trip, the last thing you'll want is to get into an accident and have to contact a lawyer. Travel with caution and say no to road rage.

2. Driving With a Drunk Driver - Japaninfo-icon

It goes without saying that driving while under the influence of alcohol is a bad idea. But this selfish act can also adversely impact others in the form of property damage, bodily harm, and even death. It's not worth the risk. So, it's a good thing that many countries, including Japan, have laws to discourage people from getting behind the wheel while drunk. 

But the land of the rising sun has gone a step further -- and it’s something you should know if you travel there. If you're a passenger in a car driven by someone deemed to be driving under the influence, you can be charged. Yes, it's illegal to be a passenger in a vehicle driven by a drunk person. It doesn't matter if you're 100% sober. It's a case of being guilty by association.

3. Eating While Operating a Vehicle - Cyprusinfo-icon

If you live in the U.S., you might be accustomed to taking a sip of the coffee you buy on the way to work in the morning. You may also like to nibble on some food while driving. It’s not the best of habits -- and can net you a fine if you’re distracted behind the wheel while tucking into a donut or hamburger. But don’t make that mistake in Cyprus. Doing so can cost you big time.

It’s illegal to consume food or drink anything while behind the wheel of a car in Cyprus. If you absolutely must eat something, pull over in a safe spot, shut off your car, and enjoy whatever food or non-alcoholic drink you want. Getting stopped and fined might sour your vacation experience. So, when it Cyprus, do as the Cypriots. That means, among other things, no eating or drinking while driving.

4. Round-the-Clock Headlights - Swedeninfo-icon

Did you know that it’s required by law to turn on your headlights in Sweden around the clock? Yes, that’s 24 hours per day. And that’s not just when it’s overcast or cloudy outside. Even when the sun is out in all its glory in the summer, you need to have your headlights on. 

These are just a handful of examples of some of the oddest or most surprising rules of the road from various parts of the world. Whether for your own entertainment or research for an upcoming trip, it makes sense to learn about the rules of whatever country you plan to visit in the future. 

If you plan to drive in the destination country, it’s essential that you find out about any unique laws.