Bizarre and Unbelievable Driving Laws in Virginia

by admin on April 26, 2013

Unbelievable Driving Laws in Virginia

Throughout the relatively short history of the United States, thousands of laws have been written and approved, both at the state and national levels. Many of them are fair and just, and have sound reasoning behind them. Others, however, share none of those characteristics. How they slip through the cracks and become laws in the first place is beyond us, but at least they provide a constant source of amusement.

Virginia’s Legislative Information System offers a searchable database of laws, with everything from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act to, say, whether it’s legal to flip a coin in a restaurant to see who pays for coffee (it is not). Here are some of the bizarre laws we discovered:

In Waynesboro, it is illegal for a woman to drive a car up Main Street unless her husband is walking in front of the car waving a red flag.

It’s difficult to even imagine the scenario that led up to this law, and trying to imagine a Waynesboro that enforced it is downright hilarious. In fact, the vague nature of the law only begs more questions: Why just Main Street? What if the woman isn’t married? Would a pink flag be acceptable, or does it have to be red? What about maroon?

Citizens must honk their horn while passing other cars.

Can you imagine a world in which this was enforced? The number of traffic tickets that would be written could destroy rainforests! Tylenol stocks would skyrocket! This is a perfect example of a law that must have been put in place when there were only a few cars in the entire state of Virginia, and you have to imagine that back then, car horns weren’t quite so abrasive to the ear.

Police radar detectors are illegal.

This one is less bizarre, but altogether more interesting than the others. Installing a police radar detector in your car is ostensibly done to alert you to upcoming speed traps. The irony here, of course, is that the police are using a radar detector to catch you speeding. Not surprisingly, this law does not sit well with the citizens of Virginia, and in fact people have attempted to repeal this law several times since the 1990s, but the repeal fails each time.

It’s illegal to tickle women.

Okay, this one doesn’t really have anything to do with driving, but it’s so weird that we had to include it. Initial questions are: Why not? Is it legal to tickle men? What if you’re a masseuse and your client happens to be an extremely ticklish woman? We don’t think we could handle that kind of a high-stress work environment.

As interesting as these laws are, they mostly come from a long time ago, back before we had such strict and specific safety measures in place. Now that we have driver’s education and online driver improvement schools available, it’s not really necessary (or feasible) for a husband to wave a red flag as his wife drives up main street.

Of course, the law is the law, and it’s always good to know what you can get cited for whether it’s obvious, like reckless driving, or peculiar, like selling peanut brittle on Sundays (yes, that’s also illegal).


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