The Automobile Association (AA) recently announced changes to European traffic laws, and gave a clear warning to all UK vehicle drivers intending to drive on European roads to be fully aware of the road rules applicable to the country before they arrive in it.
The AA highlighted a selection of traffic penalties that would be enforced on the unwary driver, which included a 24 Euro (₤20) fine for not having the necessary cash on hand for paying an on-the-spot-fine for certain traffic infringements, and a 384 Euro (₤320) charge to reclaim an impounded vehicle. The European traffic authorities will apply the laws equally to everyone, including private car drivers, contract hire or leased vehicles.
Traffic laws vary from one European country to the next, and in some cases, the traffic restrictions or laws are applicable or determined by the day of the month, where on specific days only residents of the local area are permitted to drive their vehicles on a specific road. The AA also mentioned a law in Italy, where special driver permits are required for driving in restricted zones, and often UK drivers only discover they have been fined when they return home. In Portugal, there is a traffic law that states if two vehicles meet on a narrow street and there is only room for one vehicle to pass through safely, the smallest vehicle must give way and reverse back up the street to allow the larger vehicle to pass.
The RAC has also issued a booklet that details hints and tips for driving abroad in foreign countries, which can be downloaded at their website.
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