Driving in Norway
What does a broken white line on the road shoulder mean? And how well do you know Norwegian road signs?
Norwegians are generally reserved and calm people, so is Norwegian traffic. Most drivers are law-abiding and defensive, and so should you be. Norway is one of the safest countries in the world to drive in, and we would like it to stay that way. Do not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and respect traffic rules and speed limits. Rules are strictly enforced.
Most Norwegian roads are dual-lane roads with a yellow centreline. The general speed limits are 80 km/h (50 mph) in rural areas and 50 km/h (31 mph) in urban areas. There is a network of motorways around Oslo, with speed limits up to 110 km/h (68 mph).
Roads, especially in the mountain and coastal areas, are generally narrower and curvier than most roads in Europe and North America. Driving conditions also change rapidly; a seemingly dry road can suddenly turn slippery and icy.
Watch out for the train!
Incidents happening on the railways in Norway are reported every day. Let us work together to make sure there are no accidents.
Some important rules
• Norway has right-hand traffic. General speed limits are 50 km/h (31 mph) in urban areas, and 80 km/h (50 mph) outside towns and cities.
• Headlights and seatbelts are mandatory – at all times. If you stop along the road, switch the headlights to parking mode.
• Alcohol limit is 0.2 ‰ blood alcohol concentration. Do not drink and drive.
• In the event of an accident, the police are in charge from the moment they arrive at the scene. This also applies when military vehicles are involved in an accident, and during military exercises. Let the police do their work and follow their instructions.
• On non-priority roads, all drivers must yield to traffic coming from the right – unless otherwise specified (see the first road sign above). When entering a roundabout, you must yield to traffic inside the roundabout.
• At zebra crossings, pedestrians have the right of way – except if the crossing is regulated by traffic lights.
• Norwegian road surface markings differ from the rest of Europe. Norway uses a two-colour system, similar to the one in North America. Yellow centre lines separate traffic in opposite directions, while white centre lines separate same direction traffic.
• A solid, continuous centre line – single or double – means no crossing. If the centre line is broken, long centre lines mean crossing is legal, but visibility ahead is insufficient for safe overtaking. Short centre lines mean overtaking and crossing is safe, if clear.
• On some roads the white lines on the road shoulders can be broken. This indicates that the road is too narrow for a centre line, and that you must be cautious when passing oncoming traffic.
• Keep a distance of at least 3 seconds to the car in front of you.
Some roads, especially on mountain passes, can get snowfall and frost when there are summer conditions in the lowlands. Stay calm, keep plenty of distance to other cars and slow down before curves.
Elk and reindeer may suddenly jump or walk into the road in forest areas – especially at dusk and dawn. If you hit an animal, call the police service number at (+47) 02800 to report.
Road tunnels are common in Norway, and some tunnels can be very long. During winter, drivers should be careful when entering tunnels. Temperatures inside road tunnels are normally higher than outside, which can cause ice bumps at the tunnel entrances.
If you are driving a slow vehicle and cars begin to pile up behind you, you should stop at a bus stop, car park etc. to let the traffic pass. This does not apply when driving in a military convoy.