10 Peculiar Laws You Have To Obey In Rhode Island

Rhode Island may be little, but this state has been sticking it to the man since the 1700’s. The Ocean State was the first to renounce its allegiance to the British crown and the last to ratify the United States Constitution. Suffice it to say, RI has strong views on laws and which ones are worth following.

Whether you agree with these 10 odd ordinances or not, I suggest you stay in line while visiting the Ocean state!

1. Challenging someone to a duel is a no-no. It is also illegal to accept a duel challenge from someone else.

Seems pretty reasonable, but it’s actually surprising that a state known to be resistant to higher government bans street justice. Perhaps there were just too many duels occurring?

2. You may not string a rope across the highway unless it is at least 14 feet high.

I’m not sure why one would need to run a rope across a public highway to begin with – sounds more like a job for Wyle E. Coyote – but the height minimum is certainly aimed at protecting larger trucks.

3. Driving down a Rhode Island hill in neutral is not permitted.

This may sound silly at first, since many drivers believe that coasting down a long hill in neutral conserves gas, but this law is actually quite sensible. First of all, automobile tests have shown that riding downhill in neutral in a modern vehicle actually wastes more gas. Also, it is a dangerous practice, since neutral slows down your ability to quickly react to obstacles in the road like black ice or a disabled vehicle.

4. When passing someone on the left, you are required to make a “loud noise.”

In the days before turn signals you had to let fellow drivers know you were coming somehow. Strangely, this law still remains on the books, so if you’re riding in the passing lane, be sure to alert slower drivers with a good loud “Hellooooooo!” on your way by.

5. You may not ride your horse on the highway for the purpose of testing out its speed.

Speed tests – and all horseback riding adventures – are best suited to open fields, not highways.

6. Ocean staters are so offended by pickle juice that it is actually against the law to throw it onto a trolley.

Yup. Somehow this offense became an illegal action. One is forbidden to splash pickle juice on a passing trolley in Rhode Island.

7. You may not intentionally bite off one (or more) of someone’s limbs.

With folks abusing bath salts and the threat of the zombie apocalypse ever looming, this law may not be so strange after all.

8. The only professional sports you may freely partake in on a Sunday in Rhode Island are Hockey and Ice Polo – all others require a license.

This one certainly puts a damper on football season! Let’s hope the NFL remembers to keep that license renewed. Go Pats!

9. In the city of Newport, there is no pipe smoking after sunset.

As any pipe smoker knows, the best time to light up is after a lovely dinner. If an evening toot on the pipe is your thing, better do it on the down low in the Ocean State.

10. Shop owners may not sell a toothbrush and toothpaste to the same customer on a Sunday.

Why? Just why?

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