Shirtless driving, not helping the injured: Strangest road rules revealed

·News Reporter
·3-min read

Australian roads are known for having some peculiar road rules and while these can vary from state to state, they pale in comparison to some laws found throughout the world.

Anyone who has taken even the shortest trip to Asia will know how different the roads there are from what we're used to.

Even though some parts of Asia are our closest neighbours they surprise many travellers with their weird and wonderful rules.

From punishing shirtless drivers to painstakingly micro-managing number plates, the world’s largest continent is full of unexpected regulations. So what are Asia’s strangest road rules?

Couple driving in beachwear with surf board in between them. Source: Getty Images
It is illegal to drive shirtless in Thailand despite the balmy conditions. Source: Getty Images

Strangest driving rules revealed

In some Asian countries, drivers find themselves battling mother nature itself when going out on the roads.

Thailand has one such rule where motorists are not allowed to drive their cars whilst shirtless, no matter how hot it may be.

Drivers must always ensure they are covered up behind the wheel and that includes singlets and bikini tops.

It’s a bizarre rule for a country that is situated directly in the tropics and where humidity often sits near 100 per cent.

Japanese drivers also find themselves battling their traditions and customs. In a land that is known for their polite nature, drivers can be severely fined if they splash any pedestrians walking along the pavement.

This is a rule that is slowly being adopted in many developed countries including places like the UK and Canada although a similar law in NSW was actually repealed in June 2020.

Woman splashed by car. Source: Getty Images
Splashing pedestrians whilst driving is a strict illegal in Japan. Source: Getty Images

Managing road safety

Of course, not all road rules are based on cultural customs and most are simply designed to manage safety on the roads.

For instance, the Philippines have come up with a novel way to reduce congestion on the roads.

They have implemented laws that ban cars from the roads according to the day and the first digit on their number plate.

For example, drivers in Manila cannot drive their cars on Monday or Tuesday should their registration plate start with a one or a two.

It’s a scheme that was originally trialled in Paris a few years ago to great effect and is something that authorities in Manila hope will have a similar impact on their roads.

Pedestrians are also given greater consideration in some major cities too. In Singapore, drivers are required to give pedestrians at least a 50 metre space whenever they are crossing the road.

It’s a smart decision considering the non-stop hustle and bustle of the city-state’s lifestyle.

Drivers must carry first-aid kits

Despite these safety rules, nowhere quite beats some of the laws applied in some major cities across India.

While India is known for dire conditions on the roads, motorists on the streets of Chennai and Kolkata are required to always carry first-aid kits in their cars.

This is because they are expected to carry out immediate first aid treatment to passengers should they be injured in a car crash.

With a potential three-month prison sentence awaiting anyone who fails to do this, it’d be wise to be a Good Samaritan should anything untoward on the chaotic Indian roads.

There are some surprising road rules out there, that's for sure!

It just goes to show that it is always wise to be aware of local regulations before attempting to get behind the wheel while on holiday.

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