Weird on the road: Unusual driving laws you may not know

The rules of the road aren’t always as straightforward as red, yellow and green. For example, if a police officer were to pull over a driverless car, who would get the ticket? How will cops in states that have legalized marijuana distinguish when drivers are too high to drive without an accurate test like a breathalyzer?

In addition, there are laws on the books in states across the country that might raise at least as many questions as they answer.

In California, whales are the only animal that can legally be shot from a moving vehicle. A similar prohibition enforced in Connecticut does not exclude whales from protection.

The golden state also prohibits women from driving while wearing a housecoat. The law is less clear about the propriety of smocks, bathrobes, dusters, or popovers.

The city of Carmel, California might have taken fashion policing too far by requiring a permit to wear shoes with heels taller than two inches. However, the law was enacted to protect the municipality from lawsuits and isn’t strictly enforced, according to the city’s website.

Meanwhile, although most states leave camel riders to grapple with ambiguity, authorities in Nevada are explicit: it is illegal to drive one down any of the state’s highways. The humped beasts of burden were first imported to the silver state in the 1860s and used to transport goods by private companies. Over time, roaming camels started becoming a nuisance on public roads, leading to the passage of the state’s unique rule.

Other laws make so much sense that one might wonder why they had to be passed in the first place.

Daredevils in Glendale, California can be fined for jumping out of a moving vehicle at 65 mph. Laws in Georgia expressly prohibit motorists from driving through playgrounds. In the frigid state of Alaska, it is a crime to tie a pet to the roof of a car or otherwise transport one outside of a vehicle.

Whether or not travelers plan on bringing their pets with them as they drive out to holiday gatherings, they need to stay wary of the laws governing the roads they travel. Statutes regarding ubiquitous driving concerns like cellphone and seatbelt use can differ from state to state.

When in doubt, it’s best for those braving the roads to minimize distractions and stay buckled up to ensure a ticket and accident-free winter season.

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