Skip to main content

The problem with driving laws is that they change over time and even state by state. Driving laws sometimes change from county to county and town to town. This can make following all traffic laws confusing and difficult. Here are six traffic laws many of us probably break in our cars daily that could lead to heavy fines if caught. 

Can you leave your car idling while parked? 

Sitting in a parked car that is idling can cost you big time. Even the most eco-conscious of us would prefer to sit in a warm car during the winter instead of shutting the car down every time we are waiting in our cars. An National Environment Agency (NEA) officer can slap you with a toasty $2,000 fine for doing just that. In NYC, citizens can even make a cut of the pie for reporting idling vehicles

Is it illegal to park facing the wrong way? 

Black 1991 GMC Syclone pickup truck parked in front of an old building.
1991 GMC Syclone | General Motors

If parallel parking wasn’t already hard enough for many drivers, keep in mind that, in most states, it is illegal to park facing the wrong way in traffic. According to the Housing and Development Board website, “No person shall park any vehicle in a parallel parking lot on any road except in the same direction as the traffic moves lawfully.” This can earn you a cool $50 ticket if caught.

Is it illegal to smoke in your car? 

Smoking in your car is legal. However, stay on your toes. Of course, smoking in taxis, buses, ride share, and other public vehicles are strictly prohibited. However, you can smoke in your car, but only in certain places. Let me explain. 

There are areas like schools, hospitals, and parking decks that prohibit smoking, even in your car. The rule is that no second-hand smoke can be emitted from your vehicle. To be clear, that doesn’t mean you can’t smoke; it just means you have to do it with all the windows rolled up. Enjoy. 

Are U-turns illegal? 

U-turns are one of the most tempting grey areas in driving. There are loads of times when making a U-turn feels both practical and safe. However, the law says that unless there is a U-turn sign posted, you cannot make one. 

Can you use your cell phone while driving? 

We have all seen the endless television, radio, and other media ads urging drivers to wait to use their cell phones until they are parked. But does that make using cell phones in the car illegal? 

Superintendent Louis Loke, Head of Operations & Training of Traffic Police, cleared up the confusion by outlining when you cannot use your phone in a car. First, you can’t use a cell phone in your car if the vehicle is moving. The driver cannot be holding the device while driving. Lastly, the driver cannot use any function of the phone while driving. 

Is driving in reverse illegal? 

Obviously, driving in reverse is a necessary part of driving. However, if the police feel like you have done this in excess, you can get hit with a fine. 

The Road Traffic (Motor Vehicles, Construction, and Use) Rules state that your vehicle is not allowed to travel backward for longer than what is necessary. Also, according to Sgcarmart, if you go down a road you didn’t mean to and reverse back down, you’ll also be in violation.