• Bethany Smeltzer

Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road

Updated: Jan 24, 2018


I remember jumping into my car #freshman year and a group of friends piled into my tiny Scion xA. The rule in my car was that I didn’t take it out of park until all seat belts were on. After putting mine on, I turned around to check on my three passengers in the back. Everyone but one had their seat belts on.


After looking at him in confusion, I told him to put it on. “Why? I’m sitting in the backseat.” He replied. “Because it’s the #law. Everyone has to wear a seat belt. Buckle up! We want to go!”


He hesitated and then buckled up and started asking about the law. It seemed so weird to think that someone didn’t know it was a law to buckle up. His response was, “In New York, you don’t have to if you are in the backseat (I don’t know if that is true or not for all cars, but typical with taxis).”


So why would this be important to you? If you plan on driving a car in another state while in college, you are required by law to know that state’s driving laws.


When I was in #college, #students weren’t required to change their license or car registration in #California however, that has changed now. Students need to change their license and car information to the mailbox that the school gives them (in #CA, double check with other state laws).





Examples of weird laws (not necessarily enforced ones):

Dmv.org

Maryland: “Keep in mind while traveling through Rockville, #Maryland, that the streets there are rated G. If you possess a PG-17 vocabulary, take the bypass. Swearing from a vehicle in Rockville is considered a misdemeanor.”

Minnesota: “In Minnetonka, #Minnesota if you drive a truck that leaves mud, dirt or sticky substances on any road you will be considered a public nuisance that is harming the peace, safety and general welfare of the town.”

New Jersey: “New Jersey residents are required by law to honk before passing.”


I was driving through #Arizona one summer in college with one of my best friends, Danielle, to go visit my grandparents’ mountain house in New Mexico. Neither of us thought about looking into the different driving laws before we left; we were just staying on the highway and going to maintain the speed limit. There shouldn’t have been an issue or anything special to observe.


Well, Arizona and New Mexico have a law that California doesn’t. If a car is stopped on the side of the road, if possible, leave a lane between you. So basically, move over one to the left so that they have a safety buffer between you and them. We saw this happening and just thought everyone was really nice and respectful of each other and we did it as well. We wanted to be in on this “respect the other drivers”. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the law.


This was a huge eye opener on the differences of state driving laws for me and made me realize that if I’m going to be driving in another state again, I need to know what I’m doing first.


So once you pick your school, if it’s in a new state, make sure to go onto the #DMV website and learn the new laws.

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