DriveArchive Article 162

Quick Registration Search 

Driving Rules From Around the World

Whether you’re a traveller looking to cruise down the open highways of the world or just hoping for some fun trivia for the pub, it’s worth knowing a little bit about driving laws around the world. Robins and Day have created this handy infographic to get some across. Here’s a quick sample.

Who Can Drive

The lowest legal age for drivers is 14 years, but the only place this applies is Alberta, Canada. The highest is 23 years, the legal minimum in Niger. There is also one country that still has a baffling ban on female drivers, this being Saudi Arabia.

Speed Limits

There are a few places that infamously have no national speed limit like the autobahns in Germany and the Isle of Man, but did you know the lowest national speed limit in the world is 50 miles per hour? It’s shared by a number of nations including Bolivia, Malta, and Uganda to name just a few.

The highest is 87 miles per hour (once converted from a rounder figure of 140 kilometres per hour) and can be found in countries like Bulgaria and Poland.

Legal and Illegal Manoeuvres

Certain moves are barred completely in a few countries. One major example is undertaking—that is, overtaking a car on the left side. This is outlawed in a number of European countries, including the U.K., Spain, and Germany, but is legal in a fair few English speaking countries outside of Europe, like the U.S.A. and Australia.

Drink Driving Rules

The U.K.’s legal limit of 0.08% blood alcohol is one of the more lenient figures, matched only by the Cayman Islands’ 0.1%. Of course, if you’re really fixing to have a horrible car accident, you can always head down to the Dominican Republic where there is no legal limit, The lowest figure, meanwhile, is Japan’s 0.03%.

Specific Rules

Every country has its quirks, and this extends to traffic regulations too. Some of these are relatively sensible, even if they seem a little draconian; in Spain, for example, drivers who need glasses to be able to drive and read road signs etc. must keep a spare pair in their car so that whatever else happens, they can safely operate the vehicle.

Others seem a little more arbitrary. In Russia, you can be fined for driving a car that is dirty, and in Thailand you are legally mandated to wear a shirt while driving. That last one in particular, we really don’t have an explanation for.

© Will Hope 2017