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Road safety

Set the wheels of safety in motion
Whether you’re on two wheels or four, or sixteen, for that matter, you want to keep them all firmly on the road. Here are some tips to keep you on the straight and narrow.
A man road cycling with mountains in the background
Road cycling in Rauma.
Photo: Mattias Fredriksson / Visitnorway.com
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Emergency telephone numbers

Keep in mind that there might not be cell phone coverage where you are heading. Emergency telephones can be found on mountain stretches and in tunnels.

110 – Fire
112 – Police
113 – Ambulance
120 – Emergency at sea
22 59 13 00 – Poisons Information Centre
1412 TDD (textphone for the deaf or hearing impaired)

In Norway, drivers and cyclists often share the road and thus must follow the same traffic rules. Read more about bike safety.

Car safety

Driving a car is one of the best ways to experience Norway at your own pace. But the driving conditions can sometimes be harsh, especially during winter. If you’re crossing mountains or driving far on smaller roads, you should keep warm clothes, food, and water in the car. Also note that fuel stations may be few and far between in the mountains and other remote areas, especially in Northern Norway.

Speed limits

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Tyres

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Use of studded tyres is allowed from 1 November until the first Sunday after Easter Sunday. In the counties Nordland, Troms, and Finnmark studded tyres are allowed during the period 15 October–1 May. Studded tyres may also be used outside of these periods if the weather and road surface conditions make it necessary.

If studded tyres are fitted to a car weighing under 3.5 tonnes, they must be fitted to all four wheels. Vehicles with a permitted total weight of 3.5 tonnes or more must carry snow chains if ice or snow is expected. These snow chains must fit the vehicle’s wheels. Snow chains can be bought at reasonable prices. Studded tyres can be rented.

The cities of Trondheim and Oslo have a fee for city centre driving with studded tyres, in order to limit the pollution produced by studded tyres.

Easy on the brakes

Brakes may overheat at long downhill stretches. To avoid this, drive in a low gear. Eventual braking will require less force and brakes will stay cool. When driving uphill, watch the car’s temperature gauge to avoid engine overheating in time.

The Atlantic Road
The Atlantic Road.
Photo: Heine Schjølberg

Mountain passes

Note that weather conditions can cause mountain passes to close, especially during heavy snow and strong wind. Some of the higher mountain passes can get snowfall and frost when there are summer conditions in the lowlands, particularly in April/May and September/October.

Lights on at all times

Dipped headlights are mandatory at all times, even in the middle of the brightest summer day. This includes mopeds and motorcycles. If your car is a right-hand drive, you must use black triangles on your headlights to avoid dazzling other drivers.

Seat belts and safety seats

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Don’t drink and drive – alcohol limit

Driving and drinking do not mix, and especially so in Norway. Alcohol laws are very strict, and penalties from driving under the influence are severe. The legal limit is 0,02% blood alcohol and applies to the driver of any motorized vehicle. Medications to avoid if you intend to drive are marked with a red triangle.

Don’t talk and drive

Carrying a mobile phone makes good sense from a safety point-of-view, as long as you do not use it hand-held whilst driving. Doing so is an offence, and can land you in a lot of trouble – even if you don’t have an accident.

In case of an accident

In case of a breakdown or an accident, all vehicles must have at least one high-visibility vest, a warning triangle, and third-party insurance.

Emergency telephones can be found on mountain stretches and in tunnels. For 24 hour salvage or technical assistance, three of the largest roadside assistance companies in Norway are:

NAF: (+47) 23 21 31 00
Falck: (+47) 02 222
Viking: (+47) 06 000

Car travel

All you need to know about driving in Norway, from information on petrol stations and how to charge your electric car, to scenic route recommendations and toll road instructions.

Bike safety

Biking on the roads in Norway means you have to follow much the same rules as cars and motorcycles do: Keep to the right, give way to those coming from your right, and don’t drink and bike. The same road signs apply to you as to cars and other vehicles on the roads.

As a cyclist, you have some more options, however. You may cycle on the pavement if no bike lane is available, as long as you adapt your speed to that of the pedestrians. You may cycle across pedestrian crossings, but cars will not be obliged to stop for you unless you dismount and cross the road on foot.

You may neither cycle on motorways and dual carriageways, nor in some tunnels. This will be clearly marked by traffic signs. cycletourer.co.uk has a useful map over which Norwegian tunnels you are allowed to cycle through.

Before you turn left or right, indicate the direction by extending your hand. You may not cycle against the direction of traffic on a one-way street unless permission to do so is specifically indicated on traffic signs.

Always wear a helmet when biking. Wearing a high visibility vest is not mandatory, but is still a good idea. Also note that only children under the age of 10 may be carried as passengers on a bicycle.

Bike travel

Cycling in Norway equals gentle rides through quaint villages and magnificent nature – but also tough mountain biking trails and big events like the Arctic Race.

Stay safe wherever you are

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