Unexpected things could happen to you whilst driving through Europe if you encounter these fairly unusual customs.
As of January 2013 the French government announced that the introduction of an €11 fine for not carrying one has been postponed indefinitely. However, car and motorbike drivers must still carry an alcotest ready for use in their vehicle (even though no penalty will be imposed if they cannot present one during a police road check!).
In France again…. Children under 10 need to be in a child seat. So far so good. However, the type of seat and positioning in the car (front or back facing) depends on the child’s weight. Children under 10 are not allowed to travel in the front seats of vehicles without a child seat, unless there is no rear seat in the vehicle or the rear seats are already occupied (with children under 10).
If you need to wear glasses, you are required to carry an additional pair when driving.
Get your head around this one… In some cities, cars must be parked on different sides of the road according to the day of the week. So, drivers can only park on one side of the street on uneven days of the month if they are on the uneven numbered side of the road, and vice versa.
It is against the law to carry bicycles or any other two-wheeled vehicles on the back of a car
You are not legally allowed to carry a jerry can of petrol in your car. At any time. Good luck refilling your lawn mower …drive it to the petrol station perhaps?
Stay polite, danke.
Motorists can be fined for using abusive language and making derogatory signs.
In Cyprus, it is actually illegal to raise a hand unnecessarily from the steering wheel.
And sticking with Cyprus, it is also illegal to eat or drink anything from behind the wheel. Careful if you fancy a sip of water in the warmer climate.
In Greece it’s illegal to smoke behind the wheel.
Roundabouts tricks - when driving in the Netherlands, on some roundabouts you have right of way when you’re on it and on others you have right of way when coming onto it.
In Malta it’s not customary to indicate when changing lane.
If you’re sober, why would you ever get in a car that has an intoxicated driver behind the wheel? In Japan, besides risking your life, you’re also risking legal trouble — sober passengers in the car with a drunk driver can be punished under the law.
Possibly the most curious of all (and what prompted this law to be created). In Alabama, it’s illegal for people to drive while blindfolded. It’s an actual law…..
In San Francisco, it’s illegal for car owners to polish their vehicles with used underwear.
In Costa Rica, you can drink an alcoholic beverage while driving — as long as you don’t get drunk. Sipping a beer with one hand and navigating the windy and treacherous roads of Costa Rica with the other? Totally legal. Driving with a blood-alcohol level of more than 0.75 percent? You’re going to jail.
There you go. We hope this might be useful. Or if not, that it made you smile and a little wiser too.
OVER TO YOU:
Have you encountered weird or funny driving customs abroad? Share it in a comment below.