If you’re around my (undisclosed) age, then Driver’s Ed may have been more than a few years ago for you. And while we all do our best to remember everything that was taught to us in good faith, some of the more obscure traffic violation rules may slip through the cracks. There are plenty of people who inadvertently violate traffic laws every day because they simply don’t remember them or don’t care. You’ve seen this guy – he’s the one that makes the rolling stop at the stop sign, or who doesn’t yield for the pedestrian who puts a foot into the crosswalk.
Below is a list of traffic violations that people may need a refresher course on, or are so bizarre and specific, that no one could ever fathom in the first place. Remember: every state is different, so be sure you check your state’s DOT rules about being a conscientious driver. Safety first!
Common Traffic Violations Due To Neglect
Did you know that turning right on red isn’t legal in every state? I personally didn’t realize until visiting a friend in New York City who shouted at me as I began that clockwise motion with my hands. Ignorance is no defense, apparently. According to Wikipedia, all 50 states have allowed right turns on red since 1980, with the exception of NYC. NYC prohibits these turns unless a sign tells you to go right ahead. And if you’ve ever driven in NYC, then you’ll know you don’t get very many breaks when it comes to driving or traffic violations.
Additionally, in most states you aren’t supposed to surround your license plate with any of those decorative boarders that say where you bought your car, that you’re a Steelers fan, or that you’re Daddy’s Little Princess. All you’re really allowed to have are the 4 bolts that keep the darn thing in place, but it would be too time consuming for cops to write up the roughly 75% of people who violate that rule (and the rules of good taste), so it just isn’t cost effective.
Uncommon (and funny!) Traffic Violations
So, some traffic violations you may be aware of but choose not to pay attention to. These outlandish laws are both obscure and somewhat irrational, but definitely entertaining!
In Alabama, one surefire traffic violation is to drive blindfolded. We thought that one went without saying, but maybe ‘bama is a little slow on the uptake – it’s officially illegal there. In University City, Missouri, your list of traffic violations isn’t just about your own ride – it’s illegal to go around honking someone else’s horn, no matter what the reason. And while this may seem far too stereotypical to even repeat, officials in West Virginia have protected road kill lovers – it is perfectly legal to scavenge road kill anywhere in the state that you like. Good thing. Wouldn’t want to bring home a traffic violation ticket for that one.
Avoiding All Traffic Violations
The best way to stay out of trouble is to do your reading! Brush up on a state’s traffic violations if you’ve just made a move to a new place. You’re not likely to get much sympathy after the fact, when an officer is writing you up for a ticket for forgetting that you can’t leave your car door open for longer than is necessary in the state of Oregon.
The last thing you want is to get pulled over right after buying your new car on CarWoo! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
[photo by brizzlebornandbred]