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The top 10 weirdest traffic laws

There are plenty of weird traffic laws that continue to leave many motorists scratching their heads, even if those laws are seldom enforced or obeyed.

Driving through New Brunswick? Better stay off the roads -it’s apparently against the law to drive on them.

Wait, what?

Obscure and silly road laws are nothing new. In fact, there are plenty of weird statutes around the world that continue to leave many motorists scratching their heads, even if these laws are seldom enforced or obeyed.

Below are 10 places with some of the weirdest traffic laws:

  1. Montreal: If you live in Montreal, you’d better be careful about where you leave your car when you get home. It’s against the law to park your car in such a way that it is blocking your own driveway. And forget about washing your car while it’s parked on the street, that’s against the law, too. If you’re an Ontarian passing through Montreal, make sure to remember that turning right on a red light is not allowed in the city -something that is largely legal in the rest of the country. Doing so will fetch you a traffic ticket.
  2. Denmark:Checking all areas of your car before hitting the road is a good rule of thumb. But in Denmark, it’s the law. Motorists are required to check all lights, brakes, steering, and honk the horn every time they get in the car. Drivers are also required by law to check underneath the car to ensure there are no sleeping children.
  3. Beijing:We know smog is a problem in many parts of China, but this seems like an overkill attempt to curb idling. In Beijing, drivers are liable to receive a fine of up to five yuan (or less than a Canadian dollar) and a warning for stopping at pedestrian crossings.
  4. Ontario:In Ontario, there are a few statutes that, somehow, have stood the test of time. These outdated laws might not be so relevant today, but they’re still on the books. For example, if you ever find yourself riding an open-sleigh on the highway for some inexplicable reason (hey, maybe it’s Christmas), make sure you have the right number of bells attached. Having less than two could earn you a $5 fine. And just in case you ever wanted to drive your car or scooter onto the subway, the TTC has a by-lawspecifically barring any attempts to bring “a vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine into a TTC subway station.” So, now you know.
  5. New Jersey:Motorists used to handling the pumps at gas stations could be in for a shock when pulling in for a top-up at any station in New Jersey. That’s because it’s illegal for drivers there to pump their own gas. Only gas station employees can pump gas in the Garden State -what’s known as “full-service”. The controversial law was passed in 1949 after lawmakers felt it was too dangerous to have untrained drivers pumping their own fuel.
  6. Detroit:Motor City may be known for its love of cars, but over there, it’s strictly a no-no to make love in one. Couples are banned from having sex in a vehicle unless the act takes place while the car is parked on the couple’s own property.
  7. California: Forget texting and driving. In California, it’s against the law to shoot at wild game from a moving vehicle. As if stating the obvious wasn’t enough, the Golden State had to go and create a law to dissuade drivers with itchy trigger fingers.
  8. Maryland:Watch your mouth while driving in Rockville, Maryland. It’s illegal to curse in public, and this includes inside your car. So if you mouth off in a fit of rage while stuck in traffic, and the motorist next to you complains (or is a cop), you could be fined up to $100 or receive jail time of up to 90 days.
  9. Saudi Arabia: It’s fairly well-known that in Saudi Arabia, women are barred from driving cars. But many don’t know that there are two highways near the holy city of Mecca: one for Muslims that runs through the city, and another for non-Muslims that goes around it. If a Muslim is accompanied by a non-Muslim, both are required to use the alternate highway. Violators caught driving on the wrong highway could face fines.
  10. Minnesota: Remember the “Keep it beautiful”adage that used to adorn Ontario licence plates? Well, in Minnetonka, Minnesota, it’s the law to keep your car clean. It’s considered a public nuisance for “a truck or other vehicle whose wheels or tires deposit mud, dirt, sticky substances, litter or other material on any street or highway.”Failure to keep your wheels spick and span here could cost you up to $2,000.

(Editor’s note: A previous version of this story reported Kansas as having a law barring the deliberate screeching of tires and other race-like maneuvers. Ontario also has a similar law under the province’s stunt driving legislation.)

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