4 Crazy Motorist Laws You Don’t Know About

The city of Phoenix only gets about eight inches of rainfall per year, so storm sewers were never included in city plans when pavement was laid for streets years ago. Low annual rainfall also means drivers don’t get much practice navigating wet roads.

This combination of factors did not convince the Arizona legislature to build a sewer system. Instead it passed the “Stupid Motorist Law” in 1997. Arizona Revised Statutes 28-910 makes motorists liable for the costs associated with their rescue if they drive through barricades temporarily blocking flooded road and become stranded. Those who violate the law can also be liable for additional costs up to $2,000.

It’s these kind of quirky laws motorists and bikers need to be aware of, not only to avoid the consequences, but to get to a good laugh at lawmakers who apparently have too much time on their hands. Several weird traffic laws are repeated across the Internet without a source, so we made sure to include only the verifiable ones.

No “Fancy Riding” In Galesburg

Keep both hands on your handlebars, both feet on the pedals, and don’t try anything “acrobatic” on your bike, or you could face a fine. Galesburg, Ill. only has about 32,000 residents per the 2010 Census, but the western Illinois town has two colleges, which means a lot of bicycle riders using pedal power to get to and from class in the spring and summer.

There is no penalty specified within the text of the ordinance, but don’t go burning bird feathers within city limits in retaliation for a fine. Galesburg Ordinance 4-23 prohibits this practice as well.

No Parking In Front Of Dunkin’ Donuts

It’s unclear whether the town of South Berwick, Maine has some sort of special agreement with the global doughnut giant or if the mayor just happens to own the franchise. But Dunkin Donuts is the only business specifically mentioned by name in the town’s parking ordinances.

Motorcycle Ride - Stupid Motorist LawsArticle III, Sec. 15 warns drivers not to park within 25 feet of the building or face a fine. What complicates this law is Sec. 29, which states any vehicle that weighs less than 23,000 pounds is exempt from the entire article. The average American car weighs only 4,000 pounds, so it’s possible this law was enacted on April Fool’s Day.

No Tire Screeching

You would think a town with a name like Derby would be friendly to speedy motorists. But that’s not the case in this little Kansas burg. The law prohibits “unnecessary rapid acceleration” and “unnecessary tire squeal” while driving. The town of Derby assesses a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail for violators. There’s no further elaboration on the word “unnecessary” within the statute’s text, so those with old bald tires that squeal every time you turn might want to consider a new set of tires just in case.

BYOB – Bring Your Own Breathalyser

The quickest way to get from the Eiffel Tower to the Palace of Versailles is to take the D182 and D185 to Avenue Rockefeller. Despite the trip only being about 10 miles (16 kilometers), make sure your car is equipped with a breathalyzer. French lawmakers made it a requirement for all motorists to supply their own device. The fine was originally set at €11 (about $14) for non-compliance, but the country’s Minister of Interiors delayed enforcement of the fines indefinitely in March 2013. There is currently no mechanism to enforce the breathalyzer requirement. But it’s still a requirement for all motorists, as is carrying a fluorescent safety vest and warning triangle.



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