While most states have traditional traffic laws that dictate how you can drive, some go as far as stating what you can and can’t have in your car (beyond the obvious, that is). These ten laws from across the United States are the strangest on our roads. From the unique to the absurd, these laws fall under the category “things that make you go hmmm.”
You can’t keep trash in your car
Hilton Head, South Carolina
It’s actually against the law to have a dirty car interior in Hilton Head, South Carolina. While it might just seem overbearing for the law to order you to tidy up, it’s for a good reason here. The island actually has a problem with rodents, so it’s really in your best interest, and the interest of the community, to take out your trash. Unless you want a buddy or two riding along.
Don’t leave your door open too long
You could get a violation for leaving your door open for an unreasonable amount of time in Oregon. “Improper opening or leaving open of vehicle door” is a real section in the state’s rules for drivers. The main purpose of this law is to protect those in bike lanes. So if you’re driving in Oregon, keep your doors shut!
You’ll notice a big thing missing
Billboards are banned along Hawaii’s roadways. Luckily, there’s enough beautiful scenery to take in while on the road instead. The state’s Urban Beautification initiative has long banned all outdoor advertising, letting drivers focus on what they came to see in the first place. If you’re looking to advertise in paradise, you’ll have to find another way.
No tire screeching
Don’t be tempted by the gently rolling hills – if you intentionally spin your tires on the Sunflower State’s roads, you could be fined. The state legislature passed a bill prohibiting burnouts and wheel spinning. And this is no old-school law either; it was passed in February 2018.
Buckle up your pet
If you’re one of the many who like to keep your dog on your lap while driving, this will cause a problem when you’re in New Jersey. This state requires you to buckle up your pets while they’re in the car with you, and no, that doesn’t mean you can put them under your seatbelt. In fact, letting Fido get some air with his head out the window could actually end up with an animal cruelty charge…yikes!
Watch your words
The city of Rockville, Maryland keeps the streets strictly PG. It’s illegal to curse from a moving vehicle. The city laws state those who “profanely curse and swear or use obscene language” on any public roadway will face consequences. In fact, forget the swear jar, saying something “profane” could be a misdemeanor. And yeah, this goes for pedestrians on sidewalks as well. Choose your words carefully here!
Don’t push yourself
Oregon’s laws prohibit speed racing on highways, and that’s understandable. But it’s how the law defines the offense that raises eyebrows. Technically, what’s illegal isn’t just the typical speeding and competition. The law also states that “a test of physical endurance” is included. So maybe don’t try and push yourself to drive when you’re sleepy? But coming from a state where you still can’t legally pump your own gas, this law is open to interpretation.
Car purchases will wait until Monday
You’ve been working long hours during the week to get the car you’ve had your eye on and it’s finally your day off. If you’re in Michigan, you’ll show up to the dealership only to find that it’s closed on Sunday. While this law is a hit with dealership employees, customers will have to put off their dreams until Monday. Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, and more all have bans on Sunday sales – it’s more common than you think.
Wipers required, windshield optional
In Texas, windshield wipers are non-negotiable, but it appears windshields aren’t part of the deal. So, if you’ve got a hot rod without a windshield, you’re good to register it in Texas. Just invest in a nice looking pair of windshield wipers (and maybe a pair of goggles) and you’re good to go.
A little-known driving distraction
Though it might be a strange reason to be pulled over, in Virginia, an item hanging from your rearview mirror could do it. It’s considered an obstruction of the driver’s view. So although you may be sentimental, that graduation tassel or pair of baby shoes hanging from your windshield might not be such a great idea after all.