Driving Tips, Rules & Regulations in Finland

Finland, with an area of 338,000 square kilometres and home to 5. 4 million Scandinavians, is the fifth largest country in the world. Should you intend to trek all 454,000 km of the country’s roads, then you need to keep in mind a couple of things before you hop into your car.

Everyone travelling by car is required to wear a seat belt – even those travelling by taxi. Dipped headlights are also required to be used even during the day so as to guarantee visibility of every incoming vehicle. It is also required to keep them on when stationary.

Those who drive under the influence of as little as 0. 5 g/litre of alcohol are deemed to be guilty of drunk driving and are punished by law with no exceptions. Accidents or damage incurred by those guilty of drunk driving are not indemnified by insurance. On top of that, conviction would also include disqualification from driving as well as a fine or even imprisonment. Take note that authorities in Finland are allowed to impose a Breathalyzer test, so it’s recommended you don’t drive the whole day in case you had some alcohol the night before.

Drivers are also not allowed to remain stationary excessively. So unless you’re stuck in an unavoidable traffic, you shouldn’t leave your engine running for more than two minutes, or four minutes if the temperature is below -15 degrees Celsius.

Speed limits depend more on the present environmental conditions than what is on the speed sign. So if the conditions call for you to slow down, do so even if the speed sign says that you can go faster. Drivers are expected to take all conditions, including the condition of the road, to assess the safe speed for driving at the time.

Of course, there are general speed limits. Built-up areas call for a 50 km/h limit while other roads have a 80 km/h limit. Motorways however, observe a 120 km/h limit. Take note that these are normally indicated in speed signs. The rule on the road is to drive at the rightmost part. You are not allowed to try moving between lanes to get around the traffic flow, as this could cause problems. Normally, other lanes are used to facilitate overtakes and U turns. Also, never enter a lane reserved for public vehicles, except in cases where you’re making a turn.

Make sure you’re prepared to present necessary documents when stopped by a police officer. Vehicles can be subjected to inspections, so make sure you comply whenever it’s called for. You can use your driver’s license from you country, but those who intend to take up permanent residence, a local license must be acquired.

Should the police deem it necessary, they can prevent a driver from further using a vehicle, especially if the vehicle is in conditions that will endanger the traffic.

Make sure you plan your trip right so that you can catch the annual festival celebration of every town or village you stop by, so that you’ll find music and entertainment on the streets wherever you go.

Summary

Everyone travelling by car is required to wear a seat belt.
Dipped headlights are required at all times.
Drive under the influence of as little as 0. 5 g/litre of alcohol is punishable by law.
Accidents or damage incurred by those guilty of drunk driving are not indemnified by insurance.
50 km/h speed limit in cities, 80 km/h limit on main roads, 120 km/h limit on motorways.
The rule on the road is to drive at the rightmost part.
You must carry necessary documents with you at all times - Identification, insurance documents, ownership documents or car hire agreement.

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