Laws and Lawyers

Luxembourg Cars Must Have Windshield Wipers But Windshields Are Optional

Governments can be famous for making regulations that put more emphasis on form than substance. No better example can be found than the highly-bureaucratic Vogons in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:

The Vogons are one of the most unpleasant races in the galaxy, bad tempered, bureaucratic, officious and callous. They are said to be vile and ill tempered, though they are known to be intelligent. They wouldn’t save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal without an order, signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public enquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters.

If you want an example of regulatory nonsense that is a little closer to home, look no further than Luxembourg. Although one of the smallest nations in the world, it makes up for it with the forehead-smacking requirement that every car must have windshield wipers. Windshields, on the other hand, are optional.


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