European driving information
GEM members planning road trips anywhere in Europe now have access to a huge database of information covering all aspects of driving in 28 different European countries. The information, researched by TISPOL, the European Traffic Police Network, is displayed in attractively illustrated PDF documents that can be easily downloaded for safe keeping on journeys.
It’s no surprise that there is usually a fair amount of confusion connected with driving in Europe. After all, for a driver, there really is no such place as ‘Europe’, and the only common feature is that you drive on the right! Beyond this, it’s important to be aware of a whole raft of specific rules, and methods of enforcement, that inevitably differ from country to country. That’s why it makes sense, before any journey through Europe, to plan carefully in order to stay safe – and on the right side of the law, as well as the right side of the road.
Examples from TISPOL’s country driving guides include:
In Luxembourg, there are specific rules relating to how you affix a sat nav to your windscreen. Get it wrong and you could be fined on the spot.
In Germany, if you receive a penalty for committing a traffic offence, that may not be the end of it. Under special measure of enforcement, the so called “offender address”, you can be visited by police and warned against committing further offences.
Norway has some of the highest traffic fines in Europe. For example, a driver caught travelling at 20km/h over the speed limit can expect to pay a fine of £600.
Hungary and Slovakia are two countries with very strict rules on drink-driving. In Slovakia, the maximum permitted blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is zero. In Hungary, the limit is also zero and driving licences can be withdrawn by police officers on the spot. What’s more, a driver with a BAC of 80 (which in the UK is still legal for driving) faces nine penalty points, a substantial fine, a driving ban of up to 10 years and up to one year in prison.
Each country guide provides tips on particularly attractive places to visit, as well as roads worth avoiding during busy periods. Any specific winter driving regulations are listed where appropriate, as well as the particular items (such as warning triangles, reflective jackets, spare spectacles, first aid kits and fire extinguishers) to be carried on journeys. There are also a few basic phrases in the local language and a list of emergency contact telephone numbers.
TISPOL will be carrying out regular updates to its guides. Each is marked with the date of the most recent update. Take a look at the TISPOL guides to driving in Europe.