Weird Laws from around the world that actually make sense
Laws are a system of rules laid out by countries and communities to regulate the actions & behavior of its members and maintain security. While laws such as those dealing with crimes and citizen rights are more or less common around the world, there are some region-specific strange and weird laws that can leave you scratching your heads. That is, until you learn the logic behind them. In this article, we look at some of these unusual laws around the world and the reasoning behind them. Learn and follow them if you are in any of these places to avoid any unwanted repercussions!
Strange & Weird laws from around the world
1 No walk, Fine shock- Turin (Italy)
Italians, in general, can be fined up to 10,000€ and spend a year in prison if they are found guilty of abandoning or torturing their pets. But Turin in Italy takes it a step further. In Turin, dog owners can be fined up to 600€ for not taking their dogs on a walk at least 3 times a day! While we are not sure who’s checking, you should be cautious if you have pets in Italy.
2 Nature’s for everyone- Sweden
The Swedish Right to Access, Allemansrätten, gives people (both locals and foreigners) the freedom to roam, hike and camp freely in the woods, mountains or the countryside irrespective of land ownership. However, one must ensure due care for nature and animals and consideration for landowners. As the Swedish National Environmental Protection Agency summarizes it, “No disturbing, no destroying”. So, as long as you keep out of the way, you can avoid the expenses of indoor accommodation while at the same time, enjoy the pleasant sceneries, swim in lakes and sleep under the stars.
3 Think twice before honking- New York (U.S.A)
In New York city, honking “unnecessarily” is illegal and can attract a fine of $350. While a possible deterrent for people sounding their horns unless absolutely required, very few people are actually fined. Nevertheless, it’s advisable to use your car horns wisely. If nothing else, it’s good for bringing down noise pollution!
4 Visit your parents or be fined- China
If you stay away from your parents, you do visit them regularly, don’t you? If you are in China, you better do! Possibly to deal with the growing elderly population, China introduced the “Elderly Rights Law” in July 2013 which required adult children who stay away to visit home “often” or be fined and even, imprisoned! Earlier this year, Shanghai came up with a policy that could blacklist the credit scores of children who don’t visit their parents. So, if you want those loans, don’t forget to visit your parents!
5 High heels, No Please- Greece
Ancient monuments and sites are hard to maintain especially if they are frequented in large numbers by tourists and visitors. In an effort to prevent damage and wear and tear to certain ancient monuments, Greece introduced a law in 2009 that banned wearing stiletto heels at these sites. So, leave those high heels at home and wear shoes when planning to sightsee the historic cities of Greece.
6 Keep those headlights on- Finland
In Finland, it is mandatory that whenever a vehicle is driven, its dipped headlights or day-time running lights must be on irrespective of night or day. This rule is applicable even under the Midnight Sun. The logic behind this is that use of headlights improves visibility in traffic and easily distinguishes the running cars from the parked ones.
7 Proxy Wedding- Montana (U.S.A)
‘Proxy wedding’ is allowed in 4 states of the United States- Texas, Colorado, California and Montana. In a proxy wedding, one or both of the individuals getting married are not physically present and are represented by other people. Of the 4 states, only Montana allows double proxy marriage where neither individual is physically present. In California, the option of proxy wedding is only available to deployed military personnel. In Montana, it is available to those who are on active military duty as well as to Montana residents.
8 Chew gum at your own peril- Singapore
About 3 decades ago in Singapore, chewing gum was causing serious maintenance issues with miscreants disposing spent gums in mailboxes, key holes, on lift buttons and seats of buses and even on door sensors of MRT trains, thereby preventing them from functioning properly. Further, chewing gum left on ground, stairways and pavements were deemed to be increasing cleaning costs and damaging cleaning equipment. So, in 1992, chewing gum was banned and imports immediately halted. It was later revised to allow only therapeutic gums sold by pharmacists and dentists to customers with medical prescriptions.
9 Plan your family carefully- China
At the beginning of the 1980s, China introduced the one-child policy as part of its family planning policy to regulate its population. Subsequently, as the issue of single children providing for their parents and grandparents when they came of age began to grow, provinces began to allow couples to have 2 children if both were single child themselves (2009). In 2013, the policy was further relaxed to allow couples to have 2 children if one of the parents was a single child. In 2015, the law was formally changed to a two-child policy. However, you still need Government permission to have 2 children.
10 Thou shalt not frown here- Milan (Italy)
There’s not much to be sad about in the fashion capital, but should you feel sad or angry in Milan, you are still advised to keep a smile on your face. It is a legal requirement in Milan to smile at all times, the only exceptions being funerals and hospital visits. So, if you are down about something, it’s probably better not to brood over it and do some shopping instead!