The World’s 10 Most Ridiculous Driving Laws

Friday, November 1, 2019

There have been a number of recent incidents of police officers in Canada ticketing drivers for charging their cell phones while their vehicle is in motion. In none of these cases was the driver actually using or looking at their phone, but police nonetheless were of the mistaken belief that this constituted distracted driving. After reading about these nonsensical tickets, I thought I would provide a list of the 10 most ridiculous driving laws from around the world compiled by

  1. Thailand: Don’t lose your shirt

The World’s 10 Most Ridiculous Driving Laws

On a hot summer day, what better than to crank up the AC/DC, take off your shirt and cruise around trying as hard as you can to be cool? While that may fly in Alberta, don’t try it in Thailand. In this south Asian country, you’re apparently not allowed to drive bare-chested, no matter how nice the weather — and this applies to men just as much as it does women.

  1. Russia: Keep it clean

Our constantly changing weather makes it nearly impossible to keep our vehicles clean. Thankfully, police don’t get bothered by a dirty car here. However, in Russia, driving a vehicle stained with dirt or mud is illegal and can get you a $50 fine. This legislation is based in part on authorities wanting your license plate to be visible at all times, despite the country having winter conditions similar to ours.

  1. Russia (again): You can’t do that here

The World’s 10 Most Ridiculous Driving Laws

The law in number 2 is made much more difficult by this bizarre regulation in Russia. Despite having to keep your car clean, it’s also illegal to wash your car anywhere besides at your home or in a car wash. Hope you’ve got a hose! (Or a bunch of change.)

  1. Cyprus: 10 and 2 at all times

If you find yourself driving in Cyprus, make sure you heed the advice of your driver’s education teacher in high school and keep your hands on the wheel. You can be fined if you “unnecessarily” withdraw your hands from the steering wheel. The point of this law is to prevent drivers making, uh, ungracious hand gestures.

  1. France: No, you can’t have fries with that

The World’s 10 Most Ridiculous Driving Laws

Eating or drinking (even a non-alcoholic beverage) behind the wheel may drive you into trouble in France. Indeed, the Hexagon believes that wolfing down a baguette au fromage, for example, is a “failure of control” of your vehicle. Said sandwich can therefore cost you an extra 35 Euros.

  1. Spain: You got another set?

Wear corrective glasses? In Spain, you must keep a second pair in your vehicle, in case you lose the first one. This doesn’t help if you lose both sets…

  1. Japan: Mind the puddles, people

The World’s 10 Most Ridiculous Driving Laws

If your driving manoeuvers in the rain result in you splashing a pedestrian, you’re subject to a fine. I say this is a great law to prevent getting soaked while walking to court. 

  1. Japan (again): Don’t even think of drinking and driving

More than anywhere else, don’t drink and drive in the land of the rising sun. Its rules against drunk driving are among the toughest, with a maximum allowable BAC (blood-alcohol content) limit of 0.03 per cent. Not a ridiculous law, you say? Indeed. But get this: the Japanese legislation stipulates you also can be sent to prison if you’re the passenger in a vehicle driven by a drunk motorist. This begs the question: do I have to ask my Uber driver if he’s been drinking?

  1. Costa Rica: Please think about drinking and driving

The World’s 10 Most Ridiculous Driving Laws

Yes, you can drink alcohol while driving in Costa Rica, whether your vehicle is stationary or in motion. The only condition is your blood alcohol content has to remain below the limit set by the authorities, 0.05 per cent.

  1. Several countries: Why aren’t you drinking and driving?

Here’s the worst: In Burundi, Guatemala, Paraguay and Togo, there’s no laws at all prohibiting drunk driving. In those countries, it’s basically do what you want, when it comes to alcohol and getting behind the wheel. Do you really want to drive over there? An even better question is do you even want to cross a road there?