Unique Traffic Regulations Around The World

unique traffic regulations around the world If you're an adventurous traveler and plan to drive while visiting foreign countries, you'll find some traffic laws around the globe are highly unusual.

If you don't take time to learn the local rules of the road, you may get a citation, says John Wetmore, a Maryland resident who produces a traffic safety TV show called "Perils for Pedestrians." He says most rental car outlets can provide you with information about local traffic laws.

But what are the best ways you can prepare for foreign roads?

"Get a local map," Wetmore advises. "Get information on local traffic laws. Ask if there are any issues that foreigners need to deal with."

Many countries, including the U.S., have unusual traffic laws. For example, according to a CNBC report, if you're driving through Derby, Kan., you could end up with a $500 fine and 30 days in jail if you make your tires squeal.

If you plan to drive in Minnetonka, Minn., first you should check the cleanliness of your tires. StupidLaws.com reports that it's illegal to drive your car in that city if your wheels or tires deposit mud on the highway.

Here are seven traffic laws to be aware of when you travel outside the U.S.


unique traffic regulations around the world Brazil 1.Pay attention to no-driving days in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Philadelphia resident Suzanne Garber is a former resident of São Paulo, Brazil. In order to relieve heavy traffic congestion, São Paulo authorities place limits on the number of days cars can use city highways, she says. This rule applies to rental cars.

"The day that we weren’t allowed to drive in the city was Tuesday," she says. "It's based on your license plate. You rarely find police on the road, but there are [law enforcement] cameras everywhere."


unique traffic regulations around the world Spain 2. Don't forget your spare glasses when driving in Spain. 

IdealSpain.com, an online guide to traveling in Spain, warns visitors who wear corrective lenses that they are required by law to bring an extra pair of glasses with them whenever they climb behind the wheel.

The idea is to make sure visually impaired people have a spare pair of glasses if the first pair gets broken or lost. Remember, the law requires you to have the extra glasses with you when you drive, not in a drawer back in your hotel room. 


unique traffic regulations around the world Costa Rica 3.  You can have a beer while driving in Costa Rica.

In Costa Rica, you can enjoy an alcoholic beverage while driving -- just make sure you don't drink enough to interfere with your driving. In March 2014, the QCostaRica website reported that sipping a brew while behind the wheel in that country is perfectly legal. However, if your blood-alcohol level exceeds 0.75, you could be arrested and taken to jail. Perhaps the safest course is to stick with nonalcoholic beverages.


4. Don't splash pedestrians in Japan.

While it's always best to be considerate of others, there are rude drivers everywhere. In Japan, officials have made one rude driving practice a crime. If you are inconsiderate enough to drive through a mud puddle and splash a pedestrian, you could face a fine of $65, TheGlobeAndMail.com reported in February 2014. The Japanese call this practice "mudding."

You also may receive a ticket for splashing pedestrians in the Canadian cities of Regina and Saskatoon.


unique traffic regulations around the world Cyprus 5. Mind your manners in Cyprus.

Road rage is a problem everywhere you go, but keeping your temper is important if you want to stay safe on the highway. In Cyprus, be sure to keep both hands on the steering wheel.

Authorities there have cracked down on drivers who shake their fist at other motorists, according to a March 2014 report by News.com.au. The law says a driver can be fined if he raises his hand from the steering wheel unnecessarily.


unique traffic regulations around the world Saudi Arabia 6.   Beware of Saudi Arabia's unofficial ban on female drivers.

If you’re a woman planning to drive in Saudi Arabia, this could put you in conflict with local customs.

While no traffic laws specifically prevent women from driving in Saudi Arabia, religious edicts often are interpreted to mean women are not allowed to operate motor vehicles.

The BBC reported in October 2013 that a group of Saudi women took to the streets in cars to stage a day of protest against restrictions on female motorists. 


unique traffic regulations around the world Germany 7. Don't run out of fuel on Germany's autobahn.

Germany's autobahn is the first limited-access high-speed highway network. It has a length of nearly 8,000 miles.

If you drive on the autobahn, make sure you start with a full gas tank. If you run out of fuel and have to pull over, you'll be breaking the law, SmarterTravel.com reported in February 2014. To keep the roadway clear, the law forbids unnecessary stopping. Running out of fuel is considered unnecessary.

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