Car Traffic Laws: The Basics and the Bizarre | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

Car Traffic Laws: The Basics and the Bizarre

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A woman driving with a man. He is pointing out something in front of the car that she is looking intently at with him.

If you received your license in one state, you may be surprised to find that some traffic laws in other states are not what you’re used to in your own. Some common laws like stopping at stop signs and red lights are the same across states. However, some states have bizarre traffic laws. Learn what the most common laws are from state to state and what some of the most bizarre are.

 

Traffic Laws: What’s Common Across the U.S.?

When you think of “traffic laws”, you might think laws that only pertain to how you drive your car. However, traffic laws are any rules or guidelines set forth by the organizations in charge of transportation. They can include things you can and can’t do with owning a car, cleaning a car, driving that car or using your car in any given way. For example, in some places around the world you can’t honk the horn of your car after a certain hour or on certain days.

 

There are certain common traffic laws across the U.S. that focus on your safety on the road such as:

  • Always wear your seatbelt (children too) when the car is in motion. The slogan, “Click It or Ticket” comes from this.
  • Do NOT cross lanes separated with a solid yellow line.
  • Never pass a school bus if it has red lights flashing or if it is stopped with a stop sign out.
  • Use your blinker to indicate you’re changing lanes and use it for 3 seconds before you make the move.
  • The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) reports that “pedestrians always have the legal right of way”. That means you stop for them at crosswalks.
  • Bicyclists must ride in bicycle lanes if available. However, certain states require bicycles to be in the road with cars or on sidewalks.
  • Use your car horn sparingly to alert you or other drivers to danger or to inattentive driving only.
  • Steering wheels are to be located on the left side of the car.
  • Always drive on the right side of the road in the U.S. White lines will indicate traffic that is traveling in the same direction.
  • Always do head checks and mirror checks before changing lanes.
  • Never drink and drive and never text and drive.
  • Headlights must be on during bad weather and after sunset.
  • Hitchhiking is illegal in most states.
  • Always follow speed limit signs, stop at stop signs and stop at red lights.

 

A beautiful brunette woman that is giving the camera a thumbs-up and holding her new license in her other hand.

Bizarre Traffic Laws

There is a reason for all of these traffic laws we found, and the reason is probably because there were too many people doing what is now outlawed in these counties, cities and states:

  • Glendale, Arizona made it illegal to drive your car backwards down a road.
  • Alabama outlawed driving blindfolded.
  • In University City, Missouri, you can’t honk another person’s horn.
  • You’re no longer allowed to drive a car on a playground in Dublin, Georgia.
  • It’s prohibited to clean your car with used underwear in San Francisco, California.
  • In Arcadia, California, peacocks have the right-of-way when crossing the street. In Temecula, Ca., ducks have the right-of-way.
  • Alaska now prohibits drivers from tying their dogs to the roof of the car.
  • Ice cream trucks are not allowed to roam the streets in Indianola, Iowa.
  • In Georgia, it’s illegal for chickens to cross the road. (But we don’t know what the punishment is for them.)
  • Any person over age 88 in Idaho Falls, Idaho is not allowed to ride a motorcycle.
  • It’s illegal to hunt from the comfort of your car in Connecticut.
  • Technically, it’s still recorded as being illegal in California if you’re a woman driving your car while wearing a housecoat.
  • In Hawaii, it’s illegal to use your hazard lights if the car is in motion.
  • Derby, Kansas can put you in jail for 30 days if you screech your tires.
  • Those driving in the mountains must use caution in Nebraska, even though there are no mountains in Nebraska.
  • It’s illegal to drive a camel on Nevada highway roads.
  • When driving on the sidewalk in Oregon (and yes we said sidewalk), you must yield to pedestrians.
  • Birds have the right-of-way on all Utah highways.

 

A woman who has just gotten a ticket for breaking a traffic law. You can see a police officer returning to his car in the background.

Staying Safe on the Road

Some traffic laws may seem weird to us, but our laws could be weird to those in other countries. This is especially true for the side of the road we drive on (the right) compared to many other countries that drive on the left side of the road and have the steering wheel on the left side of the car. No matter what the traffic law is in the U.S. or elsewhere, know the basic ones and follow them to stay safe while driving. If everyone followed traffic laws, there would be fewer crashes and motor vehicle injuries each year.

 

By clicking on this link, you can find your state and the traffic laws that are specific to your region. While we may not be able to tell you all the bizarre traffic laws that are out there (as there are many), we can help you with most problems with your vehicle. For any and all car questions, give Scott’s Fort Collins Auto a call at (970) 682-4202!

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