As one of my earliest contributions to Automoblog.net, I compiled a fun article outline one of the more unusual automotive-related laws passed by local, state and even federal governments. An amusing compilation of road rules as well as driving regulations, the first list included a fair share of outdated laws demonstrating everything from old-fashioned chauvinism towards female drivers to some outright outrageous usages of firearms.
While the last list dealt with offenses that are repelled, unenforced or superseded by current highway laws, many of the regulations compelled in this assortment is for the large part still active.
Self-Serve Fuel Filling Stations Prohibited
Place of Jurisdiction: Oregon, New Jersey
For drivers in the states other than Oregon and New Jersey, motorists eagerly seek self-service gas stations as a way to be less gouged by prices at the pumps. Keeping in mind the problem was not caused by the station attendants and staff who may be barely making effort to keep fuel in their vehicles, the quest to save a few cents a gallon at any time causes many to veer towards self-service. While almost every case of refueling a vehicle is uneventful, the potential of accidents in the filling process is higher at self-service stations than at attended full service gas stations. It is for this reason the two states are said to restrict drivers to only full service as they argue it reduces the liability insurance of the filling stations. However, many opponents argue the savings on liability insurance is offset by the additional labour cost. The preservation of those gas station workers’ jobs is another reason the states of Oregon and New Jersey are lobbied to maintain the full-service only rule.
Black Cars Cannot be Driven on Sunday
Place of Jurisdiction: Colorado (Denver)
When buying a vehicle, motorists in Denver, Colorado could want to avert from purchasing a black car. At least according to an odd but largely unenforced law, it was stated to be an offense to driving a black automobile during Sunday. While a black car is a preference by most people, some religious faithful would be house-stricken on a Sunday. While many of us associate Mennonites with horse-drawn carriages, many actually possess automobiles. For some of those motorized Mennonites, they preserve their beliefs by purchasing only black vehicles.
Pickup Trucks Cannot be Parked in Driveway of Home
Place of Jurisdiction: Florida (Cape Coral)
In the community of Cape Coral, Florida, it was once against the law a non-home owner from parking a pickup truck on a driveway or in the streets. Cape Coral repelled the law in 2000 but some pickup truck owners should beware that some homeowner associations in Florida are still enforcing this rule.
It’s Illegal to Lock Your Keys in your Cars
Place of Jurisdiction: Australia, United Kingdom, Switzerland
Referenced on the website motors.co.uk, the forgetful act of locking your car keys in the vehicle could result in more than just embarrassment. If a driver leaves their vehicle while the locks are left inside, the motorist could be cited for leaving their vehicle unattended. In a related dumb law existing in the state of Oregon, it is against the law to leave a vehicle door open longer in necessary.
It’s Illegal to Run Out of Gas
Place of Jurisdiction: Germany (Autobahn), Youngtown, Ohio
Sounding like another insult to injury law in the spirit of the punishable restrictions against locking keys in a car, this law has the better interests of road safety in mind. A non-moving motor vehicle could anything from a nuisance to a complete hazard for other drivers. On what is probably the world’s most famous roadway, Germany’s Autobahn is absolutely a thrilling spot when you are able to open up a BMW M3 or Porsche 911. However, if a motorist runs out of fuel on the roadway it creates a very dangerous circumstance for the stopped vehicles as well as for other drivers. By making it an offense to run out of fuel the government hopes drivers will monitor fuel gauges with more diligence. A similar law also exists on elevated roads or ‘skyways’ in some places including parts of Ontario, Canada.
Information source: The Dumb Network, www.motors.co.uk
Photo source: Ford Motor Company