"" Writer's Wanderings: Knowing The Rules Of The Road

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Knowing The Rules Of The Road

There have been several road trips in our travel history and not all of them in the United States. We've driven on the right side and the left side of the road, had to learn to navigate turnabouts, and even experienced the high speeds of the Autobahn in Germany. Generally the car rental place will give you some warning of any rules of the road specific to that country that you might commonly encounter but there are some that are a little weird and likely not to be mentioned.

Take for instance the one in France that says drivers must carry a breathalyzer. This is so you can test yourself before you start the car and drive off if you've been drinking. Sure I can see that working. No impaired judgement there.

Apparently in Spain parking is allowed on the street but what side of the street you park on depends upon what day of the week it is. Reading that one reminded me of the way we were told Beijing was going to relieve the traffic during the Olympics there. Odd numbered license plates were only allowed into the city on odd numbered days. Even numbers on even days. Hopefully that worked.

And on that Autobahn you had better be sure you have a full tank of gas because pulling over to the side because you ran out is considered an unnecessary stop. It could have been avoided. There is no allowance for any unnecessary stopping on the Autobahn. Believe me, you wouldn't want to slow down and stop. Those cars would be on you in an instant.

Now we may think there are some strange driving laws in other countries including the one in Costa Rica that says you can drink while you drive but you can't drive while you're drunk. The truth is we have a few weird ones here in the States. In Kansas you are not allowed to screech your tires. In Montana it's illegal to leave a sheep unescorted in a truck. In Georgia you can spit from a truck but not a car or bus.

The real gem I found though is in Alabama. No matter how well you may know your way around, it is illegal to drive blindfolded.

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