Bizarre Driving Laws


The Greek sage Aristotle once penned, “Even when the laws have been written down, they ought not always remain unchanged.” Not only is this wise advice, but also prophetic. Especially when you focus on some of the driving laws that loiter on the pages of state statutes.

Tennessee, for example, has a law that bans shooting game, other than whales, from moving vehicles. Apparently, this law was authored during an unusually high tide or after too many dizzying spins on a Tilt-a-Whirl at Dollyworld. Chances of any whale finding its way into Tennessee via the Cumberland River are about as likely as Tony Danza winning a lifetime achievement award at the Cannes Film Festival. Yet, it exists.

So as to assure that your next cross-country vacation does not get pricked by the thorns of legality, we at DMV.ORG have organized a list of arcane state laws that you should be aware of. For nothing can be more embarrassing than having to phone your attorney from Kentucky for help in escaping a fine for trying to transport an ice cream cone in your back pocket.


  • It is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle.
  • It is legal to drive the wrong way down a one-way street as long as a lantern is attached to the front of your car.
  • Driving barefoot is illegal.


  • It is illegal to tie a dog to the roof of your car.


  • It is illegal for a person to blare the horn on a vehicle at any place where cold drinks or sandwiches are served after 9 p.m.


  • Any woman dressed in a housecoat is prohibited from driving a car.
  • It is illegal in San Francisco to buff or dry your car with used underwear.
  • No unoccupied vehicle may exceed 60 miles per hour.


  • If an elephant is tied to a parking meter, the owner or attendant must deposit money in the meter.


  • State Assembly members are immune from being ticketed for speeding while the State Assembly is in session.
  • In Marietta, Georgia, it is illegal to spit from a moving car or bus, but is okay from a moving truck.


  • In Evanston, Illinois, it is unlawful to change clothes while inside a car with the curtains drawn, except during a fire.


  • In Derby, Kansas, it is considered a misdemeanor to screech your tires while driving.


  • If you stop for ice cream while driving, be aware that it is considered unlawful to transport an ice cream cone in your back pocket.


  • You will be ticketed if you drive with a gorilla in the backseat of your car.


  • If you car breaks down in Detroit and you are waiting for assistance, be aware that sitting in the middle of the street to read a newspaper is illegal.


  • It is illegal to cross state lines, regardless if you are walking or driving, with a duck on your head. And, if you’re crossing into Wisconsin, the law also applies to chickens.
  • In Minnetonka, Minnesota, if you drive a truck that leaves mud, dirt, or sticky substances on any road, you will be considered a public nuisance who is harming the peace, safety, and general welfare of the town.
  • You cannot ride a motorcycle without a shirt.


  • In Whitehall, Montana, vehicles are prohibited from driving with ice picks attached to the wheels.


  • It is illegal to drive a camel on the highway.

    New Jersey

  • Drivers are required to beep their car horns before passing another vehicle.
  • If convicted of driving while intoxicated, you permanently lose the option of registering for a vanity license plate.

    North Carolina

  • In Dunn, North Carolina, it is illegal to drive on a sidewalk.


  • In Oxford, Ohio, authorities will ticket you if you consecutively drive around the town square more than 100 times.
  • Keep in mind that if your car breaks down and you phone for a cab, you will be ticketed if you opt to ride on the cab’s roof.


  • It is considered illegal to read a comic book while driving.


  • You will be ticketed if you leave your car door open longer than is deemed necessary.
  • You will be slapped with a Class A traffic violation if you use your car on an Oregon highway to prove your physical endurance.
  • It is illegal to pump your own gas.


  • If you spy a team of approaching horses, you are required by law to pull to the side of the road and cover your car with a blanket or dust cover that has been painted or sewn to blend into the scenery. But, if the horses react skittish to your efforts, you are then required to disassemble your car and hide the parts in the nearby underbrush.

    South Carolina

  • In Hilton Head, South Carolina, you cannot leave trash in your vehicle out of fear of attracting rats.


  • It is illegal to fire a gun at any wild game other than whales from a moving car.

    West Virginia

  • It is perfectly legal, for road maintenance purposes, to scavenge road kill.

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