Rules keeping drivers in line globally can be ... well, daggy

It's been nearly a year since New Zealand changed the left-hand turn rule but even now some Kiwis are confused about who gives way at intersections.

Yeah, I'm talking to you, Mr Sedan who nearly smashed into my driver's door when I was turning left in my local carpark and you was turning right into it. And, Mr Police Officer it was nice of you to wait to give way to me when you were turning left, but you had right of way.

Actually, New Zealand's left-turn road rule used to be savaged internationally in motoring surveys ... so let's see what other crazy driver restrictions there are around the world.

1. A controversial new French law says that all vehicles much carry a breathalyser and those who fail to do so risk a fine of €11 ($17).


2. In Thailand, it's against the law for men to drive topless (women aren't mentioned, it's assumed the same rule applies to them as well).

3. In Bulgaria, drivers have to carry a fire extinguisher in their car - a very sensible rule I reckon.

4. Women aren't allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, the only country in the world to ban females from driving.

3. In Switzerland, if you wear glasses you have to carry an extra pair in your car.

4. There is a zero-alcohol policy for drivers in Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Rome and Serbia.

5. In Cyprus, it's illegal to drink anything - even water - while driving.

6. There are some quirky rules in Spain - putting your shopping on the back seat of a convertible can lead to a fine, as can driving in flipflops. In some areas you can only park next to odd-numbered houses on odd days of the month, and vice-versa for even numbers.

7. Smoking while driving is a no-no in Greece - just try telling that to taxi drivers in Athens.

8. Headlights must be kept on at all times in Sweden.

9. If you're driving in the US, you could be shot for leaving your car when pulled over by police. Instead, stay inside, don't undo your seatbelt and don't get your licence out before the officer arrives at your window as they presume you're reaching for a weapon. In Indiana, it's illegal to overtake a horse. In Arkansas, it is illegal to use your horn in an area where cold drinks and sandwiches are sold after 9pm, and in Bloomfield, Connecticut, it's against the law to eat in your car. So avoid that drive-thru.

10. Many of Bangkok's one-way roads change their direction at certain hours of the day.

11. Taxi drivers in Finland must pay royalty fees to the Finnish Copyright Society if they play music in their cars while transporting passengers. If only Kiwi taxi drivers were fined for listening to talkback when they have passengers.

12. In Japan, it is illegal to park on the side of the road almost everywhere.

In Bulgaria, drivers have to carry a fire extinguisher in their car - a very sensible rule I reckon.
Smoking in cars is banned in Greece.