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Driving Laws in The Netherlands

Alcohol, drugs and medication
Do not drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication. Having a blood / alcohol level above 0,05 percent is a felony, as is having more than 0,000225 grams alcohol in your breath.

Conflicting rules, traffic signs or traffic indications

  • Indications are more important than traffic signs and traffic rules.
    Indications are more important than traffic signs and traffic rules.
    Traffic signs are more important than traffic rules.
    Traffic lights are more important than preferential rules.
    Specific lights on traffic lanes are more important than traffic signs and traffic rules.

Crossings and priority rules

  • When approaching a priority crossing you must give way to other drivers.
    On crossings of unequal roads, other drivers have right of way if they are on a priority road
    On crossings of equal roads, drivers coming from the right have right of way
    Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians have right of way, if coming from an exit or hereditary.

Driving instruction

  • Drive on the right-hand side of the road, unless indicators or traffic signs tell you otherwise
    Adjust your speed to the traffic situation or maximum speeds indicated.
    The maximum speed on Dutch roads varies: highways = 120 km/hr, freeways = 100 km/hr, outside built-up areas = 80 km/hr, built-up areas = 50 km/hr.
    Cars are not allowed on pathways, sidewalks or traffic lanes intended for bicycles/mopeds/pedestrians.
    Always use your indicator while make a turn or passing other vehicles.
    While driving you must never obstruct other traffic.
    Dangerous situations must be avoided.
    Overtake other traffic on the left. Should this be impossible you are allowed to pass on the right-hand side of the vehicle.
    You may never overtake other traffic in case this causes danger / an obstruction for other traffic, where traffic signs prohibit overtaking, if you are being overtaken yourself, in a bend or heading towards a bend, on or when approaching a pedestrian crossing.
    Never overtake other traffic where there is uninterrupted line.
    Traffic rules must always be adhered to.
    Traffic signs and traffic indications must be followed.

Extreme weather conditions

You must be extra careful and reduce speed in case of:

  • heavy rainfall;
    glazed frost;
    heavy frost;

Always use dipped headlights in case of bad visibility!

Licenses, certificates and insurance

  • A valid driving license is mandatory.
    A valid registration certificate for the vehicle you are driving is mandatory.
    An insurance policy for the vehicle you are driving is mandatory.
    Valid M.O.T. for the vehicle you are driving, is mandatory.

Pedestrians, blind, visually impaired or disabled people

  • Pedestrians have right of way, when they are on a pedestrian crossing or just about to step on to a pedestrian crossing.
    In case there is no way-side station, pedestrians getting off a public transport vehicle have right of way.
    Blind or people with a guide stick or guide dog always have right of way.
    Disabled people always have right of way.
    Wheelchair users and people in vehicles adapted to the needs of disabled people who are intending to cross the road or are on the road already, always have right of way.

Priority rules

  • All traffic coming from the right (including bicycles) has right of way.
    Cars turning left must give priority to traffic (please note: also pedestrians and cyclists) continuing on on the same road.
    Turning right has priority above turning left (at crossings, etc.).
    All traffic has right of way while performing special actions.

Public transportation and special transportation

  • Buses leaving a bus stop within the city, always have right of way.
    Vehicles with flashing lights or sirens always have right of way.
    Trams usually have right of way, unless you are driving on a priority road.

Roundabouts and priority rules

  • Roundabouts are passed right-on, unless indicated differently.
    The same rule applies to crossings, fit roundabouts.


Seat belts

  • Seat belts are mandatory.
    Children younger than 12 years old must be seated in the back.
    Baby seats, if installed, must be used.

Speed limits

  • 50 km an hour within built-up areas;
    80 km an hour on secondary roads;
    100 or 120 km an hour (depending on the road signs) on the highways and freeways.

Traffic signs

  • Basically, traffic signs with red circles are prohibitory signs and warn you of a restriction.
    Red triangles inform you of danger concerning the road condition.
    A yellow or orange diamond indicates that you are driving on a priority road and blue signs tell you what is allowed.

Information courtesy of the Official Site of Holland Tourism