As you travel around Europe you quickly realise driving regulations differ from one country to the next.
Some of these rules of the road can leave you scratching your head. For example, it’s illegal to honk your horn between 11pm and 7am in the UK. Who knows what you should do if you need your horn to prevent an accident? And it’s illegal to drive a dirty car in countries such as Bulgaria, Belarus and Russia.
But other rules make more sense and could be used to improve road safety across the continent.
Here are six driving regulations that could help protect drivers, pedestrians and the environment.
1 Constant headlights
In some Scandinavian countries, drivers must have their headlights on all the time when driving. This makes vehicles more visible and is particularly useful during the darker, damper winter months.
2 No stopping on motorways
On Germany’s autobahn it’s illegal for drivers to stop, even if a vehicle runs out of petrol (it’s viewed as driver negligence). With more vehicles on our roads, this would be a good rule to adopt in any country.
3 No eating behind the wheel
In Cyprus, it is illegal to eat whilst driving. Snacking behind the wheel is common in other parts of Europe, but it’s safer to have two hands on the wheel than one. In Cyprus, drivers are also required by law to keep their eyes on the road at all times to avoid unnecessary distractions. We’ve all seen drivers who could do with following that rule a little closer.
4 Cultural restriction zones
In Italy, motorists are not allowed to drive wherever they please. Specific historical sites require drivers have a special permit to use a vehicle there. If other countries followed suit, there would be less congestion around popular cultural sites, less noise and less air pollution in our cities.
5 Carry a breathalyser
French lawmakers have passed a regulation that requires motorists to carry a breathalyser in their vehicles at all times. This means drivers can check whether or not to get behind the wheel. Anything that reduces drink driving and saves lives gets a big thumbs up from me.
6 Reversing hazards
Drivers in Slovenia are required to use their hazards when reversing – something that could reduce the number of reversing accidents in other countries too.
Are there any driving laws you would like to see adopted by more countries?