20% of British motorists risk breaking the law in Europe simply because they have not researched the rules of the road before they travel.
More than three million Brits take their cars abroad every year but RAC is warning motorists to ‘do their homework properly’ or face unwelcome disruption, potential fines and increased risks. The RAC Driving Abroad Report 2013 shows 18% of motorists fail to check national speed limits before they go; 17% haven’t brushed up on what foreign traffic signs actually mean and 13% have failed to check alcohol limits.
And those that have researched spend very little time on the task. Just 43% spend between one and two hours reading up, 14% spend a mere half an hour. Nearly a fifth haven’t checked what items they are required by law in their cars at all times. Worryingly, 68% of British drivers admit they are not aware that it is now compulsory in France to carry a French authority-certified breathalyser in their vehicle.
RAC technical director David Bizley said: “The long school summer holidays are a popular time to take a trip to mainland Europe. However, drivers should make sure they are fully up to speed with the rules and regulations for each country to avoid any possible disruption. Pleading ignorance because you are a tourist is unlikely to wash with traffic officials.
“Our advice is simple – drive as you would at home. This means driving safely, considerately and legally, obeying the rules of the road. If you do that, you have no reason to worry and can relax and enjoy your well-deserved break.”
The RAC’s Driving Abroad section on the website offers advice, tips and handy ‘before you go’ travel checklists. The RAC Driving Abroad Report 2013 is available to download using the button below.