Here in the 'good old USA' there is no requirement that the car has to be in good condition to drive on the public roads. As long as it moves (and has a license plate) anything goes.
On another note, my buddy and I ended up doing exactly what is shown in the picture with a trolley. We were running the trolley at the local railroad museum one night and the headlight failed when we got to the far end of the track about 2 miles from the museum. We opened the front door of the trolley and used a bright flashlight to get back to the museum.
Once upon a time we (NJ) had a strict motor vehicle inspection that was mandatory every year. A check of horn, wipers, headlights (including aim), tail/parking/brake lights; front end, tires, exhaust, glass, obstructions to vision, papers, etc.
I know in Florida it was determined that the inspection did not actually affect accident rates in any demonstrable amount and rates actually fell after it was stopped (but rates were going down anyway)