The Most Bizarre State Driving Laws in the Country

From camels and cows to dirty tires and empty gas tanks, there are some strange traffic laws on the books.
bizarre driving laws

As the law-abiding citizens we are, we make it a point to stay abreast of all the rules of the road. It turns out, however, that’s easier said than done sometimes.

You see, individual states and towns have their own traffic rules and regulations. The vast majority of these laws are similar from place to place and, most would agree, rules that should indeed be on the books. But every so often there’s a driving law that stands out. Whether it’s oddly specific, mindbogglingly random, painfully archaic or just downright silly, they all can be categorized as bizarre traffic laws.

Let’s take a cruise around the country to see what bizarre laws about driving that states have come up with, starting in our neck of the woods.

In the Northeast

Connecticut

Maine

Massachusetts

New Hampshire

  • It’s against the law to inhale car fumes with the intent of inducing euphoria.

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New Jersey

  • Only in New Jersey is there a statewide ban on drivers pumping their own gas (it’s also prohibited in parts of Oregon).
  • Like in Massachusetts, you can’t drive a horse-drawn sleigh on a highway unless there are a sufficient number of bells attached to the horse’s harness.

Rhode Island

  • Section 11-22-11 of Rhode Island law says it’s illegal to ride a horse on a highway for the purpose of racing or testing the speed of the horse. Doing so could cost you $20.
  • You cannot operate a motorized tricycle on a Rhode Island interstate.

Around the Country

Alaska

  • In Anchorage, it’s illegal to tie a dog to the roof of a car.

Arkansas

  • In Little Rock, it’s against the law to honk your horn after 9 p.m. “at any place where cold drinks and/or sandwiches are served.”

California

  • It is a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle – unless your target is a whale.
  • It can be illegal for a woman to drive while wearing a bathrobe.

Colorado

  • It’s illegal to drive in circles in Westminster, or, more specifically, to drive “past a traffic control point three times in the same direction within any three-hour period.”

Georgia

Illinois

Iowa

  • In Tiffin, you’re prohibited from throwing stones, bricks, or missiles of any kind into the street – unless you get written permission first.

Maryland

  • You cannot use profanity on any street, highway or sidewalk. Doing so will cost you up to $100.

Minnesota

Missouri

Montana

  • It’s illegal to have a sheep in your truck without a chaperone.
  • Don’t let your sprinkler get the street wet in Kalispell – it’s against the law.

Nevada

  • Camels are prohibited from walking on public highways.

Ohio

South Carolina

Washington

  • It’s against the law to hug someone while you’re driving.

Which of these bizarre laws made you laugh the most? Tell us in the comments. 

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59 Thoughts on “The Most Bizarre State Driving Laws in the Country

  1. I got a ticket on I-5 in Washington for “hugging”…actually, my wife was just snuggled up next to me on the bench seat of my Studebaker station wagon. The ticket stuck, though. Guess we’ll never do THAT again.

  2. Amusement park rides in Massachusetts are considered ‘ moving vehicles’, and as such require a license plate AND seatbelts. The carousel cannot start without all adults and children properly belted in.

  3. That may explain why traffic courts are so busy and jails are overcrowded– so many traffic rules– too many to remember.

  4. Regarding “no leaving your keys in a running car” in University City, MO (suburb of St. Louis on the western city line), it’s still enforced. I used to live there. One cold winter morning, I stopped to pick up my dry cleaning on the way to work and left the engine running to keep the car warm. I thought I was doing the right thing by locking the car and taking the valet key with me so no one could take off with my car. In the less than five minutes I was in the cleaners, an officer pulled in, came inside and asked whose car it was. Upon admitting it was mine, I was written a ticket. I was furious and stupified but tried to keep my cool (and manners) for fear of being given another ticket!

  5. The Rhode Island law prohibiting riding a motorized tricycle on an Interstate highway is not odd. A motorized tricycle is a slow vehicle incapable of maintaining the minimum speed limit on an interstate highway. Details of definitions of vehicle types may require a separate provision prohibiting their use on an interstate highway. Note however that bicycles are permitted on the shoulders of interstate highways in a number of western states where the interstate is the only connecting road, and this is safe and reasonable if the shoulder is wide.

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