The recent news that the Government intends to crack down on anti-social driving, particularly those who hog the middle lane on motorways, has largely been met with a positive reaction. It seems the majority of motorists think it is high-time something was done about those who selfishly sit in the middle lane, drastically reducing road space in the erroneous belief that it is the safest place to be.
There are some, however, that argue that draconian punishments aren’t the answer, and that increased driver training and education is the correct method to reduce the number of tailgaters, mobile phone users and those who resolutely refuse to use their indicators.
So if you’re dreading the thought of penalty points and a hefty fine for driving too close to the car in front, and you wish the Government would stop legislating to bring about harmony on the roads, you can at least console yourself with the knowledge that you’re not subjected to these: our top 5 weirdest driving laws from around the world.
Switzerland: no washing cars on a Sunday
What we would consider the archetypal Sunday afternoon in Britain will land you in hot water with the Swiss plod. Switzerland is notoriously car hating and the illegality of cleaning your wheels on your day of rest pales into comparison to speeding or modifying your car to increase its power – both of which can leave you behind bars if you’re particularly unlucky. Harsh, yes, but then what do you expect from a country that voted for increased petrol prices.
Denmark: check for dead bodies
Rather morbidly, drivers in Denmark are legally required to check there isn’t a dead body wedged underneath their vehicle before they set off. Unless sudden death syndrome is a particularly common occurrence in the country, you have to wonder what the point of the law is – save preventing drivers making a mess of their driveways by failing to spot that errant corpse.
Cyprus: no drinking water at the wheel
A particularly sadistic law in a country with the warmest climate in the Mediterranean. With temperatures regularly soaring higher than 25 Celsius, the ban on sipping a refreshing beverage at the wheel is utter madness. There are those that would argue it distracts the driver from the job at hand, but what about heatstroke and chronic dehydration? If you’re ever hiring a car on the holiday isle, just ensure it has air-conditioning… and a built-in drinks dispenser with straw.
California: no jumping from cars travelling over 65mph
Yes, that’s right, it seems it is perfectly legal to leap from a moving vehicle in the sunshine state, provided you don’t go above the national speed limit. Quite how the authorities decided that this arbitrary speed was the safe limit at which people could hurl themselves onto the highway is anybody’s guess, but any budding George Micheals out there, consider yourselves warned.
UK: pee only on your back wheel
Public urination is something that – quite rightly – the police frown upon in Britain, with offenders liable for an instant fine of £80. It seems however, that motorists caught short in the middle of nowhere can get some relief (pun intended) as long as they take aim squarely at their back wheel, specifically on the right hand side of the vehicle. It’s an antiquated piece of legislation, which is unlikely to hold much water (sorry) with plod, but could provide a handy argument if you're ever caught relieving yourself all over your pride and joy.