In case no one noticed yet, we do live in a planet of bizarre existentialism, irony and often, dark humour. Though on a global scale, Australia might be banal for having traffic laws that are quite humdrum compared to some kooky ones in the world which you’re about to find out.

Like the fact that most of the weirdness we’re guilty of are merely things like, caring more for commuters of public transport than other regular, unworthy humans on foot. Did you know that in the state of New South Wales, splashing a bus passenger with mud after driving through a puddle can cost you $165? Oddly enough, splashing a pedestrian with water seems to go unnoticed and you won’t be fined. Somehow your status is elevated in the eyes of the law once you ride on buses. I wonder though, how this will be enforced unless every bus commuter straps on one of those Go Pro cams around their neck. The tricky bit is they mustn’t forget to press the record button just before they jump off the bus. Just in case they get assaulted by mud and at least they have cleverly outsmarted the getaway speeding car and can prove so in court!

Road signs piled up with many rules

The thin blue line

Traffic Rules In Australia

Life in the fast lane at NSW must mean it is an offence to slow down by waving or tooting your car to say goodbye to your friend. A mere toot of the horn and a farewell wave out the window as you drive down the street could cost you almost $600 and three demerit points in NSW: $298 as your offence had been ‘illegal use of a warning device’, and a further $298 fine (and three points) for having one of your ‘limbs protruding’ from the car. Yep. Do you like resting your elbow on the window ledge? Well you’ll want to retract that protruding, offensive limb as quickly as you can. It might cost you an arm at $300, or a leg if you stick that out too. The same ‘protruding limb’ ticket applies! On that note, don’t let a sour finance make you feel like you just copped a fine! Let 360 Finance help you from the start with our highly competitive car loan packages and keep all of your limbs in the process.

That’s us in Oz. Most traffic laws are fairly reasonable and everyone knows not to speed or dash through the red lights. However, some traffic rules and laws overseas are more arcane than expected and will take any of us by surprise.

Whatever you do, no matter how fatigued, even if you need toothpicks to stick your eyelids open, just try not to look like you’re asleep as it is illegal ‘to drive while asleep’ in Memphis, Tennessee. I still haven’t decided if they are sexist there or just charmingly old-fashioned. Chivalry there is enforced by law. Men are required to walk in front of the vehicle warning other motorists and bystanders when a woman is driving a car!

I think this one rather fascinates me. Saudi Arabia. The only country in the world where the law forbids women from getting behind the wheel. Does dad and grandpa do the school runs? I adore the famous true story of ‘badass feminist’ Queen Elizabeth II showing Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz a lesson in wicked British humour and the meaning of a woman’s power, when he toured Scotland. She simply turned the ignition key and sped off with the astonished king in the front passenger seat. He was reportedly, impressed! God bless the Queen!

These aren’t the most hilarious though. In San Francisco, California, it is against law to wipe the car in a car wash with used underwear. Seriously? I wonder who wipes a car with an underwear – used or new. So does the law stipulate that using new knickers to wipe your car is fine and perfectly legal? What, they don’t have rags there? Geez. Buying new undies just for wiping your car might just signal it’s time to seek professional therapy.

One wonders why windscreen wipers are compulsory in Luxembourg, yet windscreens aren’t! I wonder if it might be tantamount to suggesting underwear is compulsory but clothes aren’t. Ha. Sorry, am getting carried away with subject of, well—never mind.

If you wear glasses while driving in Switzerland, you are legally required to keep a spare pair in your car. I think it’s reasonable, this one. I particularly carry spare glasses whenever I drive anyway, in case I survive a head-on collision but broke them. Or, if I meet a road bully who breaks the pair I’m wearing in a road rage incident. Then again, not everyone is as wise as yours truly, or as paranoid.

Imagine holidaying in exotic Cape Town, driving the world-renowned wine route to the Stellenbosch. What’s that up ahead? A herder is leading a flock of ostriches along the side of the road and seems to be waving to you. Before you start being impressed at the friendliness of South Africans to tourists, he was really just motioning for you to stop so his flock could cross the road. And if you don’t bother to? That will set you back more than $500, and more wine than you can drink.

In Oz we are spoilt and take it for granted everyday that we can drive wearing our Havaianas, flip flops or ‘thongs’. Not so in Spain where it is illegal, in conjunction with unloading groceries on the back seat of your convertible. Maybe your baguette could become a projectile. It’s true when they say too much carbs can kill us. And in some Spanish cities, on odd-numbered days of the month you can only park out the front of houses with odd-numbers, and vice-versa. Don’t ask me why. I haven’t the slightest clue!

Findland’s Traffic Rules

Taxi drivers in Finland are required to pay music royalties whenever they use the radio in their cab. Thank God no such laws apply in Japan since the taxis are known to be fitted with karaoke systems with virtually any song you know.

In the land of smiles, one must maintain their modesty by wearing shirts while driving in Thailand. No bare torsos please. Another one our surfer dudes take for granted here. Fines are equal to a few hundred Thai baht.

Do you often drive around a dirty car you’re too busy to wash? No lazy bones are allowed the luxury of failing to regularly clean their car in Russia. Get out that bucket and sponge or be fined up to 2,000 roubles, you filthy driver.

There’s no excuse for dangerous driving or disrespect for traffic laws on our roads. As responsible citizens of the road we ought to do our part to recognise the rules, no matter which part of the world we happen to be driving on. Just be warned…some road rules and laws are ‘out of this planet’ likely from…the Twilight Zone? (sinister tune playing in background).

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