Stupid New Jersey Laws
It has been said that, “Power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” When you look at some of the laws in the state of New Jersey, I think it is pretty obvious that someone at some point went a little mad with power. There are whole websites dedicated to laws in the 50 states that are funny, crazy, and downright stupid, but all have the same undertone—at one point someone thought this was a good idea. That just makes them even funnier. I did not pull out every single law. I picked four of my favorites though and have tried to explain them below.
In an attempt to “foster kindness” in the citizens of New Jersey, the month of May is designated “Kindness Awareness Month”
Start getting nice people! May is only two months away !Honestly I definitely d0 not feel any more kindness than usual in the state during the month of May. My friend definitely didn’t last May. Some driver thought he was veering into her lane and started honking like crazy and cursing at him. As she drove past she gave him the middle finger. Perhaps we should make a month dedicated to stopping road rage. Anyway, before you call up your senator and ask, “why the hell do I need to be nice in May?” the full text of the law only encourages people to take part in programs and activities to foster kindness. Only in May though. Not in any other month.
“Automobiles are not to pass horse drawn carriages on the street.”
“It is illegal to delay or detain a homing pigeon.”
I grouped these two together because some laws are just outdated. I am sure some cities still have horse drawn carriages as a tourist attraction, but when was the last time anyone was written up for passing them? And although I think it would be cool to own a homing pigeon, I think it is outdated as a form of communication. Is that the inspiration behind Twitter though? The icon is a bird after all.
Source: David Hawgood, Wikimedia
“No street-side trees may be planted that ‘obscure the air’.”
This interestingly worded law is only for Blairstown, NJ. I wish they had specified what obscuring the air looked like. I am wondering if they didn’t because it is just so obvious when a tree blocks the air in Blairstown. Maybe the sun is blotted out on that street block and they understand its time to get the branch cutters out. When reading the full text of the law, shade trees seem like a very important topic in this town. Laws protect the people on the street from the overgrowth of these trees, but it also protects the trees against people cutting them down “wantonly or negligently.” Bottom-line, if you go to Blairstown, just stay clear of the trees. They are protected.
“It is illegal to wear a bullet-proof vest while committing a murder.”
My problem with this law is that if someone is committing murder, they pretty much already threw caution to the wind in terms of other crimes they are committing. That being said, if they are guilty of murder, might as well slap on some other offenses to make sure they stay in jail because chances are it was premeditated if they put a vest on for it. It is not exactly casual wear.
“One must yield a phone line to a person if it is an emergency.”
Smart law, but once again, out of date. In the age of cell phones, tablets, and continuous Internet access, what are the chances one person needs a pay phone for an emergency call let alone that pay phone already being in use.
“If you have been convicted of driving while intoxicated, you may never again apply for personalized license plates.”
Just another reason not to do it, especially if you want to keep JRZE GAL.
“It is illegal to throw ashes on the sidewalk.”
When I die, someone make sure my ashes are scattered at the corner of Lincoln and Hamburg. You will find enough money in my will to cover the fine. (To be fair, they mean cigarette ash, but still come on)
“Do not park your boat on your lawn.”
What makes this law so ridiculous is that it applies only in Cranford, NJ. Cranford, NJ is no where near a major body of water. If people are parking boats on their lawns at the frequency that there is a law against it, there is something else going on in Cranford.
For more stupid laws from New Jersey check out