Motorists driving overseas have even been stopped by police for driving dirty cars – which is an offence in Belarus, warns the Foreign Office.
The government is concerned because British motorists are involved in a rising number of road accidents in popular holiday destinations – and often face prosecution because they were unaware of driving laws.The Foreign Office has launched a campaign to inform drivers about the rules of the road outside Britain – for instance:
• Driving without headlights on is against the law in Scandinavia even during the day
• Drivers with glasses must carry a spare pair with them in Spain
• Some cities enforce parking rules that mean leaving the car on different sides of the road on different days of the week
• Winter tyres must be fitted to cars in Germany at specific times of the year
• Russian drivers are banned from picking up hitch-hikers
• All cars in Serbia must have a tow bar and a three-metre tow rope
The Foreign Office warns Thailand is one of the most dangerous places to drive. More than 9,200 people were killed on the roads, compared with 1,900 in Britain last year.
British drivers in Thailand should bear in mind that road laws and driving customs are different from those in the UK and road conditions, driving standards and road traffic regulations can vary,’ said British Ambassador to Thailand, Mark Kent.
Meanwhile, lawmakers in Florida have revoked a controversial law that demanded British motorists should have an international driving permit before driving in the state. The law was passed in January and insisted all drivers should have an IDP in English proving they were qualified to drive – even though British and other English-speaking countries have licences in English.
For more on driving abroad visit the Quoteline Direct blog