Norwegians on driving holidays in Europe don’t always know the various different rules in other countries. NAF has encouraged drivers to prepare themselves before heading out of Norway.
‘We often see Norwegians travelling abroad by car driving as if they were home in Norway. But in some countries there are different laws and regulations,’ said Jan Ivar Engebretsen, Communications Adviser at the Norwegian Automobile Association (NAF) to NTB news agency. He encouraged travellers to familiarise themselves with the rules of the countries they are visiting.
Based on NAF’s assistance statistics, Sweden is the top destination for Norwegians on a road trip. Then follow Denmark, and Germany, with Italy and Spain at their heels.
‘But we are also seeing more and more trips to Eastern Europe,’ said Engebretsen, who believes that Norwegians will begin to explore eastwards more than they have in the past.
Engebretsen said that the various alcohol consumption and driving limits are something not everyone knows before they travel on a road trip. Although some European countries allow higher limits than Norway, there are others that have lower limits. Romania, Ukraine, Slovakia, Hungary, Georgia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, and Belarus stand out as having a figure of exactly zero, show figures from the International Driving Sports Association (FIA).
‘Any fines you receive will follow you home, even if you don’t have to pay on the spot. You won’t escape them’, said Engebretsen,
urging everyone to promptly pay any fines they receive.
There are major differences to the amounts of fines in the various European countries. In Greece, you have to pay from 756 kroner and upward if you are caught over the limit; the fine starts at NOK 5,198 in Switzerland. In the UK, you can expect a fine of up to NOK 53,865 if you exceed the country’s alcohol limit of 0.8, which drops down to 0.5 in Scotland.
Using a mobile phone without handsfree is forbidden everywhere in Europe. The amount of fine you’ll receive varies, but in the UK, you may have to pay up to 1,000 pounds, over NOK 10,000 if you chat on a mobile phone without handsfree while driving, so don’t.
There are also differences to what kind of safety equipment you are required to store in the car. In several countries, there is, among other things, a requirement to carry a first aid kit, while in other countries, you must carry a fire extinguisher, whereas in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, that is only recommended.
‘When you come to the different countries, you should start off feeling comfortable and within the law,’ said Engebretsen, adding that if you have questions, you can receive the answers you need from the different countries’ embassies in Norway.
NAF also strongly advised drivers to not pack the car too full before setting off on holiday.
‘We are a little too ready to bring things, just in case. T-shirts can be used for two days’, said Engebretsen.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today