There are several outdated rules around the country that still happen to be on the books, but Florida might have one of the weirdest.
Jade, from Kissimmee, asks:
Is it true that an old law still exists in Florida that you cannot leave an elephant at a parking meter without paying the parking meter fee?
If you search online for strange laws, specifically in Florida, it won't take you long to discover a laundry list of websites claiming that the strangest one of all is a traffic law that includes a elephant.
Dozens of sites claim the state of Florida has an antiquated law that states: "If an elephant is left at a parking meter, the owner is not exempt from the fees and will be ticketed if the meter has expired."
Is there any truth to this? Has this law come and gone, or is this nothing more than a rumor passed on?
It could have been a more localized law from several decades ago that may have had origins from the west coast of Florida, in Sarasota.
John Ringling, of Ringling Bros. Circus fame, moved his company's winter operations to Sarasota in 1927. Before that date, after Ringling purchased St. Armand's Key in 1917, he enlisted the help of elephants to build the first causeway to St. Armand's Circle, now a popular tourist destination.
Parking meters started sprouting up in the country shortly thereafter, around the mid-1930s.
I asked the Orlando Police Department, whose officers give out parking tickets at expired meters every day, to see if there was any truth to the matter. After a few chuckles — and a thorough search of Florida Statutes at least within the last five years — we both agreed that there is no current statewide law concerning elephants and parking meters.
If you have a traffic question, Ryan Harper can answer it. Send him your question.