Some of California’s weirdest long-forgotten laws may have made sense at one point or another. But now, they just hang around for us to scratch our heads at. Unless you’re a woman driving in a housecoat, in which case you’ll be arrested.
Here are 5 other bizarre California laws to watch out for:
- No Zoot Suits Allowed
‘Zoot Suit Riot’ is a catchy song, but it’s rooted in sad historical fact. The Zoot Suit Riots were a series of racially motivated riots that broke out in L.A. during World War II. Due to the shortage and rationing of goods at the time, high quality fabric was expensive. Using lots of high quality fabric to make a fashionable suit was deemed unpatriotic; as if the wearer didn’t care about the war effort.
Zoot suits were fashionable among many Latinos in the Los Angeles area, and drew harsh criticism from whites in the neighborhoods about the waste of fabric. Fights regularly broke out, and formed full-blown riots and violence.
Eventually, a law was passed that made zoot suits illegal in California in an effort to put an end to the fighting. The law still stands. So stick to a polo or something.
- Don’t Annoy the Lizards in the Park in Fresno
The law actually states: “Section 8-410. Disturbing animals in parks.
No person shall hunt, pursue, annoy, throw stones or missiles at, or molest or disturb in any way, any animal, bird or reptile within the confines of any park. (Orig. Ord. 1076).”
It’s a weird one; but fair enough, really. How would you like it if someone came into your house and poked sticks at you? You’ll get a fine for pestering the poor park pigeons of Fresno.
- You Can’t Crack a Window in Dana Point
This law says that it’s illegal to use your bathroom when the window is open. Even in your own home. Supposedly, the idea behind it is that it’s bad enough to have to stink up your own bathroom. But nobody else wants to have to smell it, too.
It’s gross. But again; this one makes some sense. We all get along better with our neighbors if we don’t have to smell them at their worst.
- When There’s No Driver, the Speed Limit is 60 mph
What?! ….What?! How?
In the state of California, a car may not exceed the speed of 60 mph… if there’s nobody driving it. The only possible explanation is that it was intended for cars that were maybe being towed behind other cars or trailers. But no- they had to phrase it in the most perplexing way possible.
Really, if your vehicle manages to make it up to 60 mph all on its own, it deserves a medal rather than a ticket.
- You Can’t Store Anything in Your Own Garage in San Francisco
The housing codes in San Francisco are extremely strict, and Chapter 6 of the San Francisco Housing Code 399-89 is no exception. Garages are only for cars.
So you’re stuck with a building a separate shed (if you manage to get it approved), your attic, or a renting a storage unit somewhere if you have some knickknacks you want to stash away.