Gridlock Guy: Unusual traffic laws on books nationwide

Odd driving laws exist across the state and around the country. AJC file photo
Odd driving laws exist across the state and around the country. AJC file photo

Last week my colleague Lori Geary aired a couple of powerful reports on WSBTV exposing the way Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed uses his mayoral vehicle to avoid traffic delays around the area. Using lights and sirens, the Mayor's vehicle sliced through Atlanta traffic for non emergency situations. It was an eye-opening series of stories.

Intrigued by the expose, I looked into Georgia traffic laws when it comes to elected officials. Amazingly I found out that members of the State Assembly can not be ticketed while the assembly is in session. That’s actually the law. But that wasn’t the only odd driving law I found in the state of Georgia. Thankfully, in Dublin officials have made it illegal to drive through playgrounds. That might be a good law to pass statewide.

Georgia isn’t the only state with strange driving laws. Some of our southern neighbors have some odd rules of the road. For example, in Alabama it is against the law to drive blind-folded. In Kentucky you will be fined if your pet molests a vehicle. I don’t want to know how that law got on the books. In Dunn, North Carolina, it is against the law to drive on the sidewalk. Probably a good law. In Hilton Head, South Carolina it is illegal to store trash in your car. This is one I can’t figure out. In Arkansas you are not allowed to honk your horn after 9 p.m. in any area that serves ice cold beverage or sandwiches. Hmmm. In Sarasota, Florida it is against to law to hit a pedestrian with your car, of course. The fine for the offense? Only $78.

Weird traffic laws are not limited to the South. I found crazy stuff all over the country. In Glendale, California it is illegal to jump out of a vehicle traveling 65 miles per hour. In Connecticut, it is against the law to hunt out of your car. In Derby, Kansas it is illegal to “screech your tires.” If you do, you could spend up to 30 days in jail. In Massachusetts it is against the law to drive with a gorilla in the back seat. Just the back seat. I guess a gorilla in the front seat is acceptable.

They say Virginia is for lovers, but if you are a fan of “parking” you should probably move to Coer d’Alene, Idaho. In that town, police must honk their horn and flash their lights, then wait three minutes before investigating any possible romantic encounters in a vehicle. In University City, Missouri it is against the law to honk someone else’s car horn. This law should be nationwide. I can not stand when I’m driving and the passenger reaches over and honks my horn.

Another traffic law that should be in all 50 states is a great one in Alaska. In the land of the Iditarod, it is illegal to drive with a dog tethered to your roof. And as we found out in the classic movie Vacation, it is against the law to drive with a dog tied to your back bumper in Arizona. Rest in peace Dinky.

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