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8 Weird Traffic Laws Around the U.S.

Most drivers have the basic driving laws down pat (e.g., red means stop and green means go), and hopefully they also have a decent idea of some of the lesser-known rules buried in the back of their state’s handbook. However, there are plenty of municipalities out there with strict and/or obscure traffic codes that not only trip up visitors, but may even leave residents scratching their heads. Here are nine such laws from around the country that are likely to catch even the most diligent rule-followers off-guard.

It’s Illegal to Run Out of Gas in Parts of Youngstown, Ohio

Running out of gas is a bummer anywhere, but the city of Youngstown, Ohio, adds a legal burden to those already dealing with the indignity of blocking traffic. Per section 331.44of the city ordinances, "No person shall operate or permit to be operated any vehicle within the congested district bounded by Chestnut, Walnut, Boardman and Commerce Streets without sufficient fuel to drive the vehicle from the district." There are offenses of increasing severity levied on those who apparently didn't learn their lesson the first time around.

You Are Not Allowed to Honk Your Horn at Night Outside Certain Venues in Little Rock

Wondering what the heck is taking the waitress so long to hand over your sandwich? If it’s a few hours after normal dinner hours in Little Rock, Arkansas, you better not lean on the horn to find out. As explained in city codes section 18.54, "No person shall sound the horn on a vehicle at any place where cold drinks or sandwiches are served after 9:00 p.m."

Using Obscenity Within Earshot of Someone Else Is a No-No in Rockville, Md.

Most of us have unleashed some colorful language when reacting to inconsiderate or reckless drivers on the road, but a little extra restraint is required when passing through the city limits of Rockville, Maryland. Per ordinance 13-53, "A person may not profanely curse and swear or use obscene language upon or near any street, sidewalk or highway within the hearing of persons passing by, upon or along such street, sidewalk or highway."

It’s Against the Law to Cruise Past the Same Spots in Westminster, Colorado

Feel like showing off your wheels and checking out the hotties as you breeze through the streets of Westminster, Colorado? Just make sure you don't retrace your tracks after the sun goes down. As stated in ordinance 10-1-18, "It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle, or as owner of a motor vehicle to permit its operation, past a traffic control point three times in the same direction within any three-hour period between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m."

A Cannot Race Horses on Rhode Island Highways

Riding a horse is generally fine and dandy across the compact state of Rhode Island, but be prepared to pay the price if you steer that mount onto a highway and get him up to a gallop. Per state law 11-22-11, "Every person who shall drive any horse over any of the public highways, for the purpose of racing or trying the speed of the horse, shall be fined not more than twenty dollars ($20.00) or imprisoned not exceeding ten (10) days."

It’s Illegal to Let Your Chickens Cross the Road in Quitman, Georgia

The Southern hamlet of Quitman bills itself as "Georgia's Camellia City," and apparently it's also the place where old jokes go to die. According to section 8-1 of the city codes, "It shall be unlawful for any person owning or controlling chickens, ducks, geese or any other domestic fowl to allow the same to run at large upon the streets or alleys of the city." In other words, it's illegal for chickens to cross the road!

Camels Are Not Allowed on Public Highways in Nevada

You might think this had something to do with the shenanigans emerging from Las Vegas, but it's actually the result of a U.S. Army experiment gone awry. In the 1850s and '60s, Army leaders imported camels to Nevada with the intent of training these creatures to shoulder supplies for Uncle Sam. However, when it turned out the camels presented a threat to horse traffic, the state legislature in 1875 passed an act that made it "unlawful for the owner or owners of any camel or camels, dromedary or dromedaries, to permit them to run at large on or about the public roads or highways of this State."

It’s Against the Law to Hug a Driver in Washington State

Sometimes it feels like the world could use more hugs, but you'll need to be careful about spreading the love while in transit through the Evergreen State. As explained in section 46.61.665 of the Revised Code of Washington, "It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle upon the highways of this state when such person has in his or her embrace another person which prevents the free and unhampered operation of such vehicle."

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