Every state in the U.S. has odd or outdated rules about driving that are never or rarely enforced, but are technically still laws. Some seem so obvious that you shouldn’t need a law about them. Others are so weirdly specific that you know someone was doing something outrageous that forced the law to be passed. And others are outright inexplicable. However, if you’re a commercial driver passing through any of these places, you might need to look out for these regulations. Here are Commercial Truck Trader’s 25 crazy driving laws we can’t believe were passed:
1. California has a law that restricts hunters from shooting any mammal from the window of their vehicle, with one exception: whales. However, whaling itself is illegal in nearly every country, including the U.S.
2. The cities of Memphis and New Orleans each have old laws still on the books that require women drivers to have a man walk ahead of their vehicle while waving red warning flags.
3. Clean up your truck or van before driving through South Carolina. In Hilton Head, it’s against the law to keep trash in your vehicle.
4. Road rage can lead you to shout all kinds of things, but watch what you say in Rockville, Maryland, where it is illegal to curse from a moving vehicle.
5. When driving down a country road at night in Pennsylvania, by law you should stop every mile and set off a rocket flare to make sure that there is no livestock in your path.
6. Here’s an ultra specific one: Arkansas has outlawed honking your horn after 9 p.m. in areas where people are serving ice cold beverages and sandwiches.
7. Drivers in New Jersey should learn how to force a smile; you’ll be breaking the law if you frown at a police officer while being pulled over.
8. We don’t know what infamous pastry incident led to this law, but in South Berwick, Maine, you’ll get a ticket if you park in front of a Dunkin Donuts.
9. Presumably to protect flightless little ducklings, Utah has passed a law officially giving birds the right of way on highways.
10. In Georgia it’s illegal to spit from a car or bus. However, it seems truck drivers can legally let the spit fly freely.
11. Nebraska passed a law regulating drivers to remain in the far-right lane when driving on mountains, even though the state has no mountains.
12. To register a vehicle in Texas, you must have windshield wipers. However, you do not always need to have an actual windshield.
13. Plan on breaking the law? In the state of Washington, lawless motorists are legally required to stop at the city limits and call the chief of police to let him know they are entering the city with criminal intentions.
14. In the “people shouldn’t be doing this anyway” category: California has outlawed jumping from any vehicle going over 65 mph, likely disappointing some movie-making stuntmen.
15. Hopefully you weren’t considering driving while blindfolded through Alabama. The state has specifically made that illegal, and we can see why.
16. We know that smartphones distract drivers, but what about comic books? Clearly Oklahoma was worried about it, because it’s against the law there to read comic books while driving.
17. By law in Montana, you cannot leave a sheep unattended in your truck. We’re hoping this was about livestock trailers, and not drivers putting panicky sheep into their cab.
18. There are lots of places where you have to yield to pedestrians. Oregon has gone ahead and also mandated that drivers yield to pedestrians when they are driving on the actual sidewalk.
19. There must be hungry folks in West Virginia, because the state passed a law explicitly allowing for roadkill to be scavenged for cooking. In fact, the town of Marlinton hosts a roadkill cook-off every September.
20. You know you have to pay if you park your car in a metered spot. But in Florida (of course), you also have to pay the parking meter if you leave an elephant or alligator in a parking spot.
21. Ruining the premise of what would have made a great movie, it’s against the law in Massachusetts to have a gorilla riding in the backseat of your vehicle.
22. We understand laws against impersonating a police officer while driving, but in Alabama it’s also illegal to impersonate a clergy member while driving. Only heaven knows why.
23. We really want to know the story behind this one: In Colorado, it’s illegal to throw missiles at cars. Who did this? And is there video?
24. Cool down Mad Max. Mississippi once felt the need to outlaw equipping vehicles with operational flamethrowers.
25. In New Mexico, it’s illegal for cab drivers to pull potential customers into their cabs. That’s likely for the best; forcing people into your vehicle is not only kidnapping, it’s also terrible for business.
It’s always best to know and follow all federal, state, and local laws while driving. Luckily, virtually all of the above laws are outdated, not enforced, or so specific that you would never need to worry about it while doing your work. And if you’re looking for your next work truck or van, check out the nationwide selection of for-sale vehicles on CommercialTruckTrader.com and our sister site NextTruckOnline.com.