Monday 28th November 2016
If you hit an elk in Finland it’s illegal not to tell the police: Ten weird road safety rules from around the world revealed

Whilst it’s illegal to speed, drink and drive, drive without a license and drive without a seatbelt, if you were in Sark it would be illegal to even drive at all! Our latest article gives you the strangest driving laws from around the world.

Rob Hull, The Mail Online, reports:

Next week is officially Road Safety Week in the UK.

Campaign group Brake is using the seven days to ask drivers to make a six-point pledge to slow down, remain sober behind the wheel, secure seatbelts, turn phones to silent, keep vision sharp with eye tests, and minimise the amount we drive to help the environment.

But there are plenty of safety-related measures employed around the globe that haven't been introduced in Britain, and probably never will be. With the help of Aviva, here are 10 of the oddest from different nations.

Oh deer: Knock over a reindeer or elk in Finland and by law you have to notify the police about the incident 

FINLAND: 'Hello, is that the police? I've hit a reindeer'

There are a number of road safety requirements that are different in Finland to to the UK - headlights must be used at all times, regardless of season or time of day, and winter tyres also compulsory between the 1st December and the end of February. 

But the oddest one of all concerns a collision with wildlife. Should a driver have an accident involving a reindeer, elk or any other large animal it’s illegal not to report it to the police.

CYPRUS: Put down the halloumi

Eating or drinking in the UK can be classed as ‘careless driving’, but in Cyprus there’s an out-and-out ban. 

Whatever the temperature, and however hot and thirsty, drink (or eat) behind the wheel and motorists could face a fine. 

GERMANY: Go as fast as you like... but don't you dare run out of fuel

German autobahns are famous for their unrestricted speed limits on certain routes, but motorists should make sure they top up at a petrol station before joining one.

It’s illegal to stop unnecessarily on an autobahn, and because running out of fuel is preventable, anyone who comes to a standstill with an empty tank is breaking the law. 

SWITZERLAND: Always have a triangle at hand

Drivers need a first aid kit, fire extinguisher and a warning triangle in their vehicle. 

The triangle is compulsory and has to be at hand, not in the back of the vehicle. And like Finland, headlights must also be switched on all of the time. 

DENMARK: Mirror, signal, check for someone under car, manoeuvre

It may seem like common sense, but in Denmark there’s actually a law in place to stop you running people over who are already under the car. 

If a motorist doesn’t check whether someone’s beneath the car before starting it, they’re breaking the law.

SARK: No cars, period 

The small Channel Island of Sark is one of the few places around the world which has a ‘no cars’ rule. 

Home to around 600 people, they are able to get around by horse-drawn carriages and the occasional tractor.

SPAIN: Spare specs are essential

Drivers who usually wear glasses or contact lenses to drive should always have a spare pair when driving in Spain. 

If you're stopped by the police and are found to not have a second set, you could face a fine for your troubles.

FRANCE: Switch off the sat-nav speed camera alerts

Devices capable of detecting speed cameras and warning drivers of their locations are illegal in France. You might think you don't have one of these systems, but many sat-navs have a feature that identifies when you're approaching a camera. Some new Fords have this and say 'caution' when approaching cameras in the UK.

If you are caught with a working device, the French police can confiscate your driver’s license and impound your vehicle. It’s also compulsory to carry a breathalyser kit while driving in France.

JAPAN: Splish, splash... fine

Earlier this year, Aviva research showed that 63 UK drivers were reported to the police for driving through puddles and splashing people in the five year period from 2009. 

However, Japan goes a step further  - it's illegal to splash mud or water onto a pedestrian and, if caught, is met with a fine.

SWEDEN: Pay attention where two [roads] become one

Intended to help reduce accidents caused by overtaking, ‘2+1’ roads consist of two lanes in one direction and one lane in the other, alternating every few miles, and separated usually with a steel barrier.

Introduced first in 1998, it’s predicted that these roads helped to save around 145 lives over the first decade.  

Whilst it seems completely logical to not run over a reindeer around this time of year, making it illegal certainly puts it into a different perspective. Perhaps Mr Claus doesn’t reside in the North Pole after all.

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