Absurd traffic laws
Every country has them: traffic laws. Road safety is inevitably dependent on the rules and regulations that organise our daily traffic affairs. Many people are sure to know the laws of their own country perfectly well. However, still many people cross their country’s borders to drive around in the adjacent countries while not knowing much about the new traffic laws whatsoever. It is astonishing to realise that countries have such distinct views on road safety. Interesting as it may be, people that drive under new traffic laws easily get into minor or major problems. But fear not, blog.alphabet wants to keep you out of trouble while driving in a foreign country. The following is an overview over some of the weirdest traffic laws around the globe – some of which are actually important to know.
Her Majesty the Swiss Postbus
In California and Tennessee you are confined to some very serious laws while operating your vehicle. By law it is prohibited to hunt game – you cannot shoot animals from your car while driving. Outrageous! Of course this makes total sense if it weren’t for a tiny exception: you may - at all times - hunt whales from your car, but only whales (Tennessee has no coast line…). Norway is known – amongst other things – for its beauty and sky-high prices. Unfortunately, you cannot drink and drive. Well, this is the case nearly everywhere, however, in Norway you also cannot drink during the first six hours after driving. To make things more comprehensible, this law only comes into practice if you think that your driving may become the focus of an investigation, which takes place after driving. Right. Feared everywhere on the globe, speed cameras are an important element of road safety. While speed cameras usually incorporate the most up to date technology to capture speed lovers, other countries rely on sheer eye power. Yes, we kid you not: in Austria, the “schooled eye of the policeman” is entitled to detect speed limit violations of up to 30 km/h.
One very important Swiss transportation mean is a big yellow box called the “Postbus”. In Switzerland, this bus is everybody’s darling. No matter how isolated and secluded, no matter how high up the mountain, every village by law must be connected to a Postbus’ route. So in order to honour the bus, Swiss law makers decided that all other drivers must always yield the right of way to the Postbus. No matter the constellation, when you encounter the big yellow thing, let it pass first, it is the sole king on Swiss roads. Another important Swiss traffic law is supposed to ensure safety on the many mountain roads. Commonly, such roads are very narrow and usually feature a goose-bump generating drop into the seemingly infinite abyss. How to behave on such a road? Panic? No, it’s very simple: if you’re in the car climbing the mountain then you just go. You don’t mind the cars descending. However, once you go downhill, you must stop or manoeuvre and let the ascending car pass freely.
To be honest, most people usually experience few if any problems when driving outside their home country. Some of the above mentioned laws are plainly ridiculous because few people are likely to enter such a decision (hunting whales, for example) in the first place. The queen of traffic law differences must be driving on either left or right side of the road. And this is known everywhere, however, still causes many accidents and road fatalities every year. So do prepare for your next holidays, just to be sure. And for the finale one last very weird traffic law from the United States: in West Virginia it is legal to eat the animals killed on the road. Yum.