Some Traffic Laws Jam Sensibilities

AAA Insurance reveals bizarre traffic laws from around the nation

Phoenix, Oct. 2, 2013. Every state owns its share of unusual or inexplicable traffic laws. Some laws, though, are so specific or seemingly obvious that they serve to amuse, infuriate and baffle drivers.

“Traffic laws are usually created to improve the safety and security of the motoring public,” said Brad Oltmans, vice president of insurance for AAA Arizona. “However, sometimes legislation can lose relevance when it’s too specific or targeted.”

AAA Arizona highlights six unusual traffic laws that are or have been on the books around the nation:

  • Alabama: It’s illegal for a driver to be blindfolded.
     
  • Iowa: It’s a crime to use a dead person’s handicapped parking sign or plate.
     
  • Dublin, Ga.: It’s illegal to drive through playgrounds.
     
  • Hermosa, Calif.: It’s illegal to pour salt on the highway.
     
  • Minnetonka, Minn.: If you drive a truck that leaves mud, dirt or sticky substances on the road, you will be considered a public nuisance.
     
  • South Berwick, Maine: You’ll be ticketed if you park in front of the Dunkin Donuts on Main Street.

“These entertaining laws are the exception rather than the rule,” Oltmans said. “A majority of laws make sense and work to improve safety on our roadways.”

AAA Insurance notes four laws that have saved thousands of lives in Arizona over the years:

  • Booster seat provision: Passed in August 2012, this state law requires children younger than 8 years old or less than 4 feet, 9 inches tall to ride in an appropriate child safety seat. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the proper use of a safety seat can reduce a child’s fatality risk by up to 71 percent.
     
  • Move Over law: In 2011, Arizona’s “Move Over” law expanded to require drivers to move over for any vehicle, including stranded motorists and emergency roadside personnel, that is displaying flashing lights alongside a freeway or highway. Under previous law, motorists were only required to move over for emergency vehicles.
     
  • Graduated Driver License: Arizona was one of the last states to enact a GDL in 2008. The law requires anyone younger than the age of 18 getting their license for the first time to hold a GDL for six months. GDL restrictions include nighttime driving and number of passengers. Since taking effect, teen driver and passenger fatalities in Arizona are down 16 percent.
  • Seat belt laws: Of these laws, this one has been around the longest. In Arizona, children ages 8 to 15 must wear a seat belt no matter where they are sitting in the vehicle. After age 15, Arizona only requires front seat passengers to be belted. While AAA supports primary enforcement laws, enforcement is secondary in Arizona, meaning motorists must be pulled over for another reason besides not being belted. When lap/shoulder belts are used, the risk of injury to the front-seat occupants is reduced by 45 percent. Remember, the backseat is always the safest place for all children under age 13.

AAA Insurance is an advocate for the safety and security of the motoring public. For more information, visit AAA.com/insurance.

AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and auto travel services to more than 840,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.