Finland has an extensive network of highways. The main rule of this country is slow driving. The main roads are covered with asphalt or gravel; they are in an excellent condition the whole year round. But driving in the winter is not simple; it can be water freezing on the roads, which is not visible when driving, or deep snow. In those cases you should use the accelerator pedal with caution. In winter, all cars including foreign-registered must use winter tyres in December, January, and February.

There are many elks and reindeers in Finland. They often cross the roadways. That is why warning signs are stated in places of probable running animals over. Be careful, especially at twilight time of day.

The main road traffic rules are:

  • Drivers must be at least 18 years old.
  • Driving is on the right side.
  • The speed limits are from 30 km/h (19 mph) to 40 km/h (25 mph) in urban areas; 80 km/h (50 mph) on open roads; on expressways during summer -120 km/h (75 mph), during winter - 100 km/h (62 mph).
  • Radar directors are prohibited.
  • Unnecessary engine idling is prohibited.
  • It is not allowed to sound the horn when driving in built-up areas, except for absolutely necessary.
  • Everybody travelling by car must use seatbelts.
  • Children fewer than 153 cm (53 inches) in height must be seated in special child seats. If a child restraint seat is not available, a children over 3 years must travel in the rear seat using a seat belt.
  • A warning triangle and reflective jacket are obligatory.
  • Drivers must leave a safe gap when driving past pedestrians, cyclists, or moped riders.
  • Driving and drinking is a criminal offence. Drivers who have 0.05 and more alcohol in their blood are subject to immediate arrest.
  • Usage of mobile phone is restricted to the use of hands-free devices.
  • Using lanes reserved for public transport is prohibited; drivers may use only enter to them when preparing to make a turn.
  • Drivers must give way to pedestrians and cyclists if they are already on a pedestrian crossing.
  • It is not permitted to block junctions.
  • Day-time running lights or dipped headlights must be on at all time while driving, even during daytime.
  • Hazard warning lights may only be used in an accident or if the vehicle has had to stop in a place dangerous to other traffic.
  • The Third-Party Liability Insurance is required.
  • The general emergency number is 112.

Driving licenses of European Union countries and Nordic countries are valid in Finland. A permanent resident of the country that has signed the Geneva or Vienna Road Traffic Convention who is a holder of the National driving permit and International driver license is entitled to drive motor vehicles for up to one year after entering to Finland. Driving licenses are not issued in any of the signatory counties cannot be used for driving in Finland. However, the police can grant a provisional driving license for one year not more without examination. Then the Finnish driving examination must be taken.

Finland Road Traffic Signs

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 Driving Overseas - Short Information