Bizarre traffic laws of Costa Rica and around the world

Rico’s TICO BULL – Why did the chicken cross the road? Because it was trying to break the law. Imagine your chicken crossing the road, speeding through a red light or behind the wheel of a dirty vehicle or taking a drink of water while driving? A heavy fine or even jail could be waiting for you, right?

Here, I have compiled a list of bizarre traffic rules in Costa Rica and other countries that can make your head spin? Read on.

In Costa Rica

Drinking and driving

It is legal to have an alcoholic drink as you drive provided you do not get drunk. If the alcohol in your system surpasses the legal limit 0.75 g per 1L of blood or blow 0.38 mg then you might end up in jail for one to three years for drunk-driving. The limit for ‘professional’ or “new drivers” (under 3 years) is 0.50 g or 0.25 mg. Article 254 Bis (c) Ley de Transito.

Red light at night

Running a red light is no big deal if done between 10 pm and 5 am. The driver need only come to a stop and proceed if there is no cross taffic, without waiting for the light to turn green. Article 104 (c) Ley de Transito.


Driving over 150 km/h will land you in jail, below that it is a fine and points. Article 254 Bis (c) Ley de Transito.

Right turns on red

You can turn right on a red light, as long as there is no pedestrian or cyclist or oncoming vehicle.

Around the world

In Russia, you could get arrested for driving around a dirty or muddy car.

In Cyprus, eating and drinking, including water, whilst driving is prohibited. Also in Cyprus, it is a crime to wave or point at annoying drivers while driving.

In France, you are required to carry a personal breathalyzer kit in your car, however, there is no fine anymore for not having a breathalyzer.

In Japan, anyone who has provided a vehicle and/or alcohol to an intoxicated driver and/or a driver under the influence or who is a passenger in a vehicle driven by a driver who is intoxicated or under the influence may also be subject to imprisonment with work for up to 3 years and a fine of up to JPY 500,000. Also, splashing water on a pedestrian, whether knowingly or unknowingly, will directly land you a fine.



In Germany, running out of gas on the autobahn is illegal. This applies to tourists as well, who will face the same penalty regardless of nationality. The fine can be from €30 up to €70 depending on the case. However, according to German traffic laws, the car is treated as private space which therefore allows the driver to be nude while in the vehicle. Naughty Germans.

In the United States, some states have some bizarre traffic rules, take a look:

  • Alabama has a law that makes driving while blindfolded illegal. Apparently, if you are ever caught doing this offence, you can serve serious jail time.
  • In South Carolina, no car should have a rubbish bin in it, (especially if it’s a convertible – go figure).
  • In Georgia, according to the law they delightfully put into action, no passenger or driver is allowed to spit from a moving car or bus, not unless it’s a truck. In Quitman, Georgia, your poultry should not be found carelessly strolling by the roadside, let alone trying to cross the road.
  • In Massachusetts, you should not have a gorilla in the backseat. The law is quite ambiguous as it does not restrict one from having the gorilla seated in the front seat.
  • If an elephant is tied to a parking meter, the owner must deposit money in the meter. You would expect such a crazy law to exist in India, but then, you would be wrong. This crazy law actually exists in Florida.
  • Birds have the right of way on any public highway in Utah.
  • It’s against the law to drive a black car on Sundays in Denver, Colorado.
  • In California, it is illegal to jump from a car at 65mph, drive wearing a dressing gown if you are a woman or sleeping on the road.
  • In Alaska, you are not allowed to tie a dog to the roof of your vehicle.

In Italy, your dog has to buckle up. Italians take dog issues quite seriously because it is a crime not to buckle up your dog if you are driving around with it. According to this very bizarre law, the owner of the dog must ensure that his/her pet is buckled up before they set out on a ride.

In Switzerland, you can’t wash your car on Sunday.

In Holland, if you’re caught doing double the speed limit they can confiscate your car and you won’t get it back.

In China, and Beijing in particular, it is illegal to stop for pedestrians.

In Thailand, never travel topless. This applies to men and women and all motorists whether you’re driving a bike, car or tuk-tuk.

In Denmark, the law states that you must check for children that may be hiding underneath your car before setting off on your journey.

In South Africa, drivers face stiff fines if they fail to slow down or stop for passing herds of livestock.

Back to Costa Rica, this is a head number: What is the procedure when the traffic light has gone on green, yellow and red at the same time?

If you (think) you have the answer to this or have any other bizarre traffic law you want to share, use the comments section below or post to our official Facebook page.

What do you think?

Written by Rico

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! Rico brings his special kind of savvy to online marketing. His websites are engaging, provocative, informative and sometimes off the wall, where you either like or you leave it. The same goes for him, like him or leave him.There is no middle ground. No compromises, only a passion for presenting reality as he sees it!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



A Costly Practice!