Unusual Traffic Laws in the United States
From stopping at red lights to signaling when changing lanes, traffic laws help keep us, our passengers and other vehicles safe on the road. There are some local and state rules and regulations, however, that you may find surprising. Here are a few unique traffic laws you’ll find in the U.S.
Don’t Honk If You’re Thirsty
Stopping for a late night snack or a refreshing soda? Better not honk your horn, at least not while you’re in Little Rock, Arkansas. After 9 p.m. it’s against the law to sound your car horn at any place that sells cold drinks or sandwiches, according to Trip Savvy.
A Little Warning, Please
Utah drivers must signal at least two seconds before turning. If you’re driving in Utah, keep your eyes on the vehicles nearby. Also, think about starting that turn signal earlier to give the driver behind you a heads-up.
Shut Your Doors
You may find yourself in trouble if you leave your car doors open too long while you’re in Oregon. It is a traffic offense to leave a vehicle door open longer than it takes to load and unload passengers or cargo. You also need to avoid opening a car door unless it is “reasonably safe to do so.” While these regulations seem unusual, the intention is good — to help prevent an accident with passing traffic and to help protect pedestrians and bicyclists on the sidewalk.
Mountain Safety … In a State Without Mountains
Drivers in Nebraska are required to stay in the right-hand lane on mountain highways. They also must honk (or provide other audible warning) to alert other drivers within 200 feet of approaching a curved area with an obstructed view. The odd part of this law is that Nebraska doesn’t have any mountains, according to WorldAtlas.com. To be fair, Nebraska does have elevated, hilly areas where this law could help make driving safer.
If you’re heading through Youngstown, Ohio, you may want to top off the gas tank. If you run out of gas within Youngstown’s “congested district,” you may be guilty of a misdemeanor. If it happens more than once within a year, the degree of misdemeanor charges will increase. Most likely this is a way of avoiding a traffic jam, but it’s definitely a unique law.
While some of these traffic laws may be a little unusual, it’s a good idea to mind your manners and follow the rules of the road. Wherever you’re driving, adhere to local traffic rules and make your trip a safe one.
Originally published on November 20, 2012.