In every country around the world, life can move a little bit differently. And driving is no exception.
Rules of the road can vary greatly across continents, and it’s important to be aware of some of the more peculiar driving laws should you ever find yourself travelling to — and driving in — a foreign country.
Luckily, Driving.ca compiled 10 of the weirdest driving laws in the world. Here are the results:
1. No driving a dirty vehicle
Where is this a rule? Russia
What’s it all about? It’s actually illegal in Russia to drive with a muddy or dirty vehicle. If you’re caught driving a dirt-mobile around, you could be fined something like $50 Canadian. According to Driving.ca, this law was introduced in part to ensure that someone’s licence plate is always visible.
2. No washing your car anywhere but home or a car wash
Where is this a rule? Russia
What’s it all about? Well, in keeping with rule number two, drivers in Russia aren’t allowed to give their vehicle a bath anywhere but at home or at a proper car wash.
3. No driving without a shirt
Where is this a rule? Thailand
What’s it all about? Neither men nor women are allowed to drive shirtless while driving a car or motorcycle in Thailand. But the fine isn’t all that steep (around $10, according to this site).
4. No eating or drinking while driving
Where is this a rule? France
What’s it all about? Of course, driving drunk is a no-no pretty much everywhere. But in France, if you’re caught eating or drinking even a non-alcoholic beverage while behind the wheel, you could be fined 35 euros, since it’s considered a “failure of control,” according to Driving.ca.
5. No taking your hands off the wheel
Where is this a rule? Cyprus
What’s it all about? If you take your hands off the steering wheel for an unnecessary reason while driving in this Mediterranean country, you could be fined. According to Driving.ca, this law is intended to discourage drivers from making “ungracious hand gestures” to other drivers.
6. Keep a backup pair of corrective lenses
Where is this a rule? Spain
What’s it all about? In Spain, if a doctor has told you that you need glasses to drive, then you’re obligated by law to keep a second pair of said glasses in your vehicle in you case you misplace the original pair.
7. No splashing pedestrians
Where is this a rule? Japan
What’s it all about? We wouldn’t mind this law being brought to Canada. In Japan, if you happen to drive through a big puddle and end up splashing a nearby pedestrian, you can be fined.
8. No drunk driving
Where is this a rule? Well, pretty much everywhere, but especially in Japan
What’s it all about? Japan’s rules around drunk driving are “among the toughest,” according to Driving.ca. Drivers in this country are allowed a maximum blood-alcohol content of 0.03%. For comparison, in Ontario, the limit is 0.08%. If you’re a passenger in a vehicle that’s being driven by a drunk driver in Japan, you could also be sent to prison.
9. No unreasonable drunk driving
Where is this a rule? Costa Rica
What’s it all about? Drivers in Costa Rica are actually allowed to drink a small amount of alcohol while they drive, according to Driving.ca, whether the vehicle is parked or in motion. But “small” is the key word here. Your blood-alcohol content has to remain below 0.05%.
10. Go for it on the drunk driving
Where is this a rule? Burundi, Guatemala, Paraguay, and Togo
What’s it all about? According to Driving.ca, these four countries don’t have any laws that prohibit people from driving while impaired by alcohol.