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Driving in Romania (Domestic Help)

In Romania, traffic drives on the right. Road conditions vary widely throughout Romania. While major streets in larger cities and major inter-city roads are in fair to good condition (Drum National are better maintained), other roads (Drum Judetean) are in poor repair, badly lit, narrow and often do not have marked lanes. Drivers need to be alert for horse-drawn carts and livestock especially at night.

Tolls are charges on motorways and main roads, payable in euros. Drivers must buy a toll badge or RoVinieta; these are available for one week or one month at border points, post offices and at most petrol stations.

Bucharest has a very dense and crowded city centre, with narrow, twisting roads, built mainly in the 19th century, with little traffic in mind. The roads are suffocated by over 1 million cars every day – it is not unusual to take two hours to drive a distance that could be walked in 20-25 minutes. GPS or local guide is a necessity.

Children under 12 are not allowed to travel in the front seat and front seat passengers must wear a seat belt. Drivers must yield to pedestrians at all marked pedestrian cross-walks. Please note that special attention should be paid near markets, schools and crowded areas since pedestrians may not be careful enough to the traffic and the paint of the cross-walks may be too old or in a poor state.

Speed limits are 50 kph (30 mph) in built-up areas, 90 kph (56 mph) on main roads, and 110 kph (70 mph) on highways. Speed limits for motor vehicles with trailers and for drivers with less than one year of driving experience are 10 kph slower than those above.

Romanian traffic laws are pretty strict. Any form of driver's licence or permit can be confiscated by the traffic police for one to three months. In case of fines, you get a note with the obligation to pay your fine in 48 hours.

In Romania alcohol and driving simply don't go together and drinking can result in the retention of licences. You can also become subject of possible imprisonment from one to five years for driving under the influence of alcohol or for causing an accident resulting in injury or death. In case of accidents you must stay where the accident took place and wait for the police.

If you decide to drive during winters, make sure you keep yourself informed of possible road problems or closed roads before you go. Also, it is important to keep your fuel tank full and to carry special chains for the wheels.

European driver's licences are recognised by police. US driver's licences are only valid in Romania for up to 30 days. Before the 30-day period has expired, US citizens must either obtain an international driving permit in addition to their US driver's licence or a Romanian driver's licence; this also applies to other nationals.

Green Card insurance required if you bring your own car; you may purchase a month's cover at the border.




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