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Driving Laws in Slovakia

The whole continental Europe drives on the right side of the road and Slovakia is no exception. The usage of the right side in the Austro-Hungarian Empire was inspired by France. In 1918, when the Czechoslovak Republic was founded, the cars moved to the left side of the road. As of 1938, when Czech lands became a German protectorate and Slovakia became a German satellite, the whole area conformed to the German rule of driving on the right side of the road. Position of cars in the streets is a very good guide to estimating the approximate age of photos of Czech and Slovak towns from the pre-war and war years.

  • The headlights must be on all the time.
  • Speed limit in the build-up areas of towns and villages is 50 km/h.
  • Speed limit out of urbanized areas (except highways and expressways) is 90 km/h.
  • Speed limit on the highways and expressways is 130 km/h.
  • Driver must be at least 18.
  • Complying with the instructions of the traffic lights.
  • Alcohol tolerance is zero.
  • Seat belts has to be fastened for all passengers, for the passenger sitting on the back seats, too.
  • Eating and other activities interrupting driving are not allowed.
  • Using mobile phone or smoking during the driving is forbidden.
  • Children with age less than 12 have to sit in the rear seat.
  • Buses, trolleys and trams have always the right-of-way.
  • Pedestrians at the crossings have an absolute priority.

On the unlit country roads between villages, pay special attention to cyclists often wearing dark clothing and riding on either side of the road. And park your car only where parking is allowed.

The traffic lights are there for a reason and are, for the most part, fully respected. Some bored policemen watch for them and passing on the orange light they may stop you and engage in a short conversation.

Other drivers drive relatively safely and when they see you in a foreign car, they will usually prefer to keep a distance from you, especially in Bratislava. Many people from countryside say that drivers in Bratislava drive like mad. On the other hand, some drivers from small villages get confused in city traffic, so the Bratislavans prefer to give them plenty of room in order to prevent possible unpleasant situations.

You should also pay attention to some rare “brave” men in strong cars who think the road belongs to them. However, this phenomenon appears worldwide.

Driving on Highways

Car on the road Payment for driving on highways and some express roads is required. A driver has to buy and display a sticker or a stamp. The price of the sticker is settled according to the weight of the vehicle and can be valid for different periods of time (from 7 days up to a year).

Where to buy Slovak vignette?

  • Petrol pumps
  • Border crossings
  • UAMK – Yellow Angel
  • Branches Cash Point
  • Some establishments ABA
  • Czech Post

Police Checks

Police checks are not unusual on roads in Slovakia. All drivers have to stop in case of a Stop Signal coming from the police. They have the right to stop you for a random check, even if you did not break any law. The reason of this kind of check is mostly the vehicle’s papers checking. Occasionally (after dark) they may check the alcohol level of the passenger.

Documents necessary to show to the police upon request:

  • A valid driving license, Slovak or International
  • Registration papers of the vehicle
  • Insurance documentation
  • ID, passport – personal identification

Drivers, who ignore speed limits are invariably caught by radar traps. Many private radio stations regularly draw attention to their listeners to the places where a closer attention is to be paid.

If breaking any driving rule, driver might get a fine. Driver is allowed to defer payment until later, but in such cases the policemen can decide hold the driver’s licence untill the fine is paid.

Requirements for tourists

A driving license issued in the United States or other foreign countries is not valid in Slovakia until the driver does not have an International Driving Licence. This type of licence can be issued in several offices, for example in AAA offices in the USA. The application form for requesting the permit can be provided by the US Embassy. There is a possibility to request it by mail as well.

Insurance

It is possible to get insurance in Slovenská kancelária pois?ovate?ov (Slovak Insurer’s Bureau). To purchase the insurance it is necessary to visit the office in person.

Documents required:

  • ID, passport – personal identification
  • Registration papers of the vehicle
  • Information about the car and its owner

Highways, Expressways, Roads

Highways

These are the highways in Slovakia:

  • D1 (511 km) – Bratislava-Trnava -Tren?ín-Žilina-Prešov-Košice-Border Checkpoint Záhor
    D2 (80 km) – Border Checkpoint Brodské-Malacky-Bratislava-Border Checkpoint ?unovo
    D3 (61 km) – Hri?ovské Podhradie-Žilina-?adca-Border Checkpoint Skalité
    D4 (50 km) – Border Checkpoint Jarovce (Bratislava)–Border Checkpoint Devínska Nová Ves

Expressways

These are the expressways in Slovakia:

  • R1 – Trnava-Nitra-Zlaté Moravce-Žarnovica-Žiar nad Hronom-Zvolen-Banská Bystrica
    R2 – Tren?ín-Bánovce nad Bebravou-Nováky-Prievidza-Handlová-Zvolen-Detva-Lu?enec-Rimavská Sobota–Rož?ava-Košice
    R3 – Šahy-Krupina-Kremnica-Tur?ianske Teplice-Martin-Dolný Kubín-Oravský Podzámok–Polish Borders
    R4 – Hungarian Border, Milhos?-Košice-Prešov-Svidník–Polish Borders
    R5 – Czech Borders–Svr?inovec
    R6 – Czech Borders, Lysá pod Makytou–Púchov-Beluš
    R7 – Bratislava–Šamorín-Dunajská Streda-Nové Zámky-Šarovce–Šahy-Ve?ký Krtíš-Lu?enec
    R8 – Hradište–Partizánske–Topo??any-Nitra

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