Phantom vehicle laws

I’d like to know if the Teeming Millions have found laws like these about cars and driving:

  1. It’s against the law to drive barefoot.
  2. It’s against the law to back up. (I found this one supposedly attributed to the Arizona Vehicle Code.)
  3. It’s against the law to eat while driving.
  4. The police always give you 5 mph leeway over the posted speed limit. (Don’t they?)

I’ve heard that it’s against the law for the front seat passenger to prop their feet up on the dashboard or window sill while the car is in motion. Don’t know how true this is. There has been a lot of times where my husband is driving and I will lean the passenger seat back and prop my feet up on the dashboard and go to sleep.

I’ve also heard the one about driving with bare feet. Again, I have no idea if it’s actually true or not.

“We are what we pretend to be.”

  • Kurt Vonnegut

Yup, I’ve heard of all of them.

I can see why the no backing up. I, for one, am out of control in reverse - I can’t be the only one.

I do not for the life of me understand the “no barefoot” one. I always drive in bare feet and don’t feel like my driving is impaired in the slightest.

Eating while driving takes your attention away from the road (not that that stops me, but that is the reasoning). And, of course, under that reasoning they should also ban cell phones, radios, smoking, drinking (non-alcoholic, of course), and whatever else you can think of.

I always thought the leeway was 10 miles over the limit. (well, since I drive 15-20 miles over it’s a moot point for me :))

WARNING: I cannot be held responsible for the above as apparently my cat has learned to type. =^…^=

One of the very few areas where government has outdone private industry is in putting information on the internet (don’t worry, private industry will catch up and vindicate my small-government view of the world).

Dougie, according to your profile you live in California. The 1999 California Vehicle Code is on the internet. Have fun.

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

Depends on the state. In Pennsylvania, for one, the 5-mph cushion is written into law. I think Georgia has some kind of law whereby only the State Patrol can ticket you for less than 10 over – apparently this prevents one-light towns from balacing their budgets by writing out-of-towners for doing 26 in a 25. In West Virginia the speeding fine for <10 over is something like $10 with no court costs or points, so the cops don’t bother. Just a few examples.

Also, if the cops try to write up everyone doing 5 over the limit, they end up missing the folks going 30 over.

The speed limits in Texas are prima facie, meaning the signs create an assumption of what is a safe speed under medium traffic conditions. The actual speed limit is just ‘a reasonable speed’, although it’s supposedly never lawful to go over 70.

I dated a cop - county sheriff - according to him, the 5 mph is NOT “etched in stone” or anything - he told me it has a lot to do with how he’s feeling on any given day, and how much of an a**hole the driver was being…

As for the bare feet thing, someone told me that, but I really dont’ know if it’s true or not. I’ve driven barefoot lots of times, but never happened to get pulled over while doing it, so I don’t know.

My sister got at least one ticket for driving barefoot (in Colorado). Of course, she got it as part of being pulled over for something else.

I see the reason for it being illegal. Under perfect driving conditions, sure, it’s possible to drive this way. But if some emergency pops up, you’re more likely to hurt your foot/feet pressing the brake and/or clutch. With either/both hurt, your reaction to an incident will be slowed or hesitant, possibly causing more problems.

I’ve tried driving barefoot just moving the car around the parking lot, and I feel extremely anxious.

A couple of rules here in Virginia[list=1]
[li]No radar detectors![/li]If it’s raining enough to use your wipers, you must turn on your headlights[/list=1]

I can attest that the 5 mph rule is not etched in stone, having been pulled over for going 3 miles over the speed limit. I was given a verbal warning and let go. As there were several cop cars there pulling many people over, I believe it was an excuse for a random traffic stop.

As a follow-up to AWBs point about radar detectors being illegal in VA- it is not only illegal to use a radar detector, it is illegal to have a radar detector on you, period. There was a letter written in to the Post by a Maryland woman pulled over for a traffic violation coming from a concert at Wolf Trap. She had taken the radar detector and put it in the trunk prior to leaving. The cop noticed the suction cups on the window and asked her if she had a radar detector. She affirmed that she did and the cop socked her with a ticket for posessing a radar detector and, IIRC, confiscated it.

I introduce you to The Netherlands, country of conflicting laws.

No, no… let’s leave the grass and the whores out of it for once. We’re talking traffic laws.

There must be at least 75.000 automatic speed cameras in Holland. They take pics of cars going ANYTHING over the speed limit (typically 100 or 120 km/h on the motorways), and a connected computer system prints bills, which are automatically adressed to whomever owns the registration, and then send out. Not a single human involved, except for the mailman. They’re in the cities too. I’ve gotten tickets for doing 56 in a 50 zone and 104 in a 100 zone.
I would rather have a ticket for speeding when I’m doing 150 or 160 and really taking the chance: just for my peace of mind, you know ? But NNOOOOOOOOOOOOO I get these crazy cheap tickets for not watching the speedometer for 5 seconds because something more important was going on in front of me.
NOW GET THIS: it is perfectly OK to own and use a radar detector. I don’t have one, but I believe the Stinger Ventura is the killer type. A lot of people have them. Typically, they’ll do 150 (and I am, for example, right behind them at a reasonable distance). Then, the Stinger goes off. They SLAM the brakes to get below the limit before they pass the camera (I think they’ve got about 100 meters to do so). It’s then up to me to avoid banging into them.

Sure, that sure sounds like a MUCH safer situation then casually driving 104 in a 100 zone… gimme a BREAK !!

Otherwise, the country’s quite sane, believe me…


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

There’s a full discussion of the barefoot driving situation on the urbanlegends site.

IIRC it’s not technically illegal in any US state, though some states “advise against it” and others note that, basically, if you get pulled over and an officer feels like giving you a ticket even though there’s no specific law against it he can do so under the category of “unsafe operation of a motor vehicle”. That probably applies equally to some of the other things you mentioned (eating while driving, for example).

Coldfire, the local gov’t of Toledo is considering the installation of a system very similar to what it sounds like you have. With one ludicrous exception. The city wants to contract out the entire thing to a private business, in Australia!

Apparently, the data from the cameras will be uplinked to a satellite and downloaded in Australia. This company will then mail the speeding ticket to your home and a copy to the local authorities. You will then pay at the municipal courthouse.

The kicker is, the company in Australia says they can do the whole thing at no cost to the City of Toledo; they will just want a commission on each ticket issued or paid.

How screwed up is that? Is this even legal?

Dopeler effect:
The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

I can’t really relate to this topic. I have been driving for almost a year now, and am ticket free. I haven’t even been pulled over. I can, however, contribute to this conversation though! In Drivers Ed., they actually give a reason for you not being able to drive barefoot. There is always the chance the your shoes, that are just rolling around on the floor, could roll under your break peddal. That would of course be bad you know, death from being hit by a speeding car just isn’t cool.

I wish there was a law about male passengers hanging their big, bare and stinky feet out of the side windows of a car while cruising down the highway. The rest of us behind them don’t want to have crusty toe jam spatted on our windshields!

Chick’s feet are OK.

The Night Watch always knows things.

I’ve heard this one from several different sources that could not have possibly known one another:

“It’s illegal in SC to drive at night with the inside light on.”

Well, one day I called up DMV, and asked that question. I was forwarded to a number of places, until I finally ended up with a staff attorney.

I asked him, and he sorta chuckled. He said that he had never heard of anything like that, and that the next time someone mentions it, ask them for a source.