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Norway has the strictest driving fines in Europe, study shows

Norway tops the table for the most expensive fines for drink-driving, running red lights and motorway speeding, compared to the rest of Europe, a new study has revealed.

Norway has the strictest driving fines in Europe, study shows
Watch your speed, Norway's driving fines are eye-wateringly expensive. Photo: Olivier MORIN / AFP

Drinking and driving is not only dangerous but incurs hefty fines in much of Europe, but none as expensive as in Norway, a new study by driving institute Zutobi found.

Being 0.02 percent over the blood alcohol limit in Norway will cost you an eye-watering €5,783 at a minimum.

This compares with the Czech Republic, where drink-driving penalties start at just €19 for having anything over zero percent alcohol in your blood.

Norway also has the most expensive fines for running red lights — penalties of up to €756 are charged, far outpacing the €10 minimum penalty levied in Albania, the European country with the least expensive fines for ignoring the stop signal.

Norway tops the table for driving fines compared to Europe. Source: Zutobi

The Nordic country is just as strict when it comes to speeding on motorways: get caught exceeding the statutory 110km/h speed limit and you could be charged as much as €711, hundreds of euros above Italy, the second-strictest European country for speeding fines.

You’re much less likely to be snapped racing down the road, though, as Norway only has 311 speed cameras compared to Italy’s 8,073.

READ ALSO: Norway trebles fine for using mobile phone at the wheel

At the other end of the scale, these countries are lax with their driving fines, with Albania placing first for the least strict in Europe. Source: Zutobi

At the other end of the scale, the least strict country in Europe for driving fines is Albania, with motorway speeding starting at just €20 and an almost unnoticeable €8 fine if you’re caught using your mobile phone while driving.

Zutobi gathered its data on fines, speed limits and blood alcohol limits from Speeding Europe, SCBD and Auto Europe.

 

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DRIVING

The punishments for Norway’s most common traffic offences 

Norway takes a strict approach to road safety, meaning that the punishments for even the most minor driving offences are pretty strict. 

The punishments for Norway's most common traffic offences 

Getting up to speed with Norway’s road traffic laws is always a good idea, whether you live here and drive all the time, or you have always dreamed of a road trip in the Scandinavian country. 

The country has a “zero vision” for road traffic safety. Several governments have aimed to reduce the number of road traffic deaths to zero. 

Given this approach, it’ll come as no surprise that the country, therefore, imposes hefty penalties on those caught breaking traffic laws. 

 Speeding

Speed limits in Norway range from 30 kilometres per hour (km/h) to 110 km/h. As a result, fines for exceeding the speed limit range from 1,150 kroner to 15,200 kroner. 

Generally, the punishment will depend on whether the speed limit is below 60 km/h or above 70 km/h. 

Driving five km/h over the speed limit when the limit is below 60 will result in a fine of 1,150 kroner. After that, fines will increase for every five km/h over the speed limit you are, jumping to 3,150 kroner, then to 5,650 kroner, 8,200 kroner and then finally 12,700 kroner when you are caught going more than 25 km/h above the speed limit. 

Those with a Norwegian licence will be given points on their licence when more than 10 km/h over the speed limit. 

Extreme speeding will likely result in a criminal conviction and the driver’s licence being revoked for three to 36 months. In cases where the police officer believes the driver will later be convicted of dangerous driving, they can revoke the licence on the spot. The same can happen to drivers with foreign licences. 

READ ALSO: Can driving offences prevent you from getting Norwegian citizenship?

Meanwhile, the punishment for speeding when the limit is 70 km/h and above follows a similar structure. Fines start at 1,150 kroner and progress for every 5 km/h the driver is over the limit up to 35 km/h over the limit – which will result in a fine of 15,200 kroner. 

However, one key difference is that you will not accumulate points until you are more than 15 km/h over the limit when the limit was more than 70 km/h. 

Drink driving 

Norway has a strict drink driving limit, those with a blood alcohol concentration higher than 0.2 per thousand (or 0.02 BAC) are considered to be under the influence of alcohol. 

Depending on factors such as weight, this typically equates to less than one drink. The penalties for drunk driving are derived from Norway’s Road Traffic Act

Those caught with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of below 0.05 will be fined. Those with a blood alcohol concentration of between 0.05 and 0.12 face fines and potentially conditional or unconditional imprisonment. Conditional imprisonment may come in the form of a suspended sentence. 

Those with a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.12 will more than likely be jailed and receive a fine. The fine for drunk driving is 1.5 times the offender’s monthly income.

In addition to the hefty fines and potential prison time, those who have a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.5 per thousand will also lose their licence. 

Other offences 

Motorists in Norway can be fined 8,200 kroner for ignoring no entry signs, no traffic signs, no turning signs and no reversing signs, not following one-way traffic rules, not being in the right lane, ignoring roundabout rules, being in the wrong lane (such as a public transport lane), or driving on a pedestrian street. 

They can also be slapped with a 6,200 kroner fine for being in restricted areas. 

Illegal overtakes will land drivers a fine of 10,200 kroner. Examples include overtaking at junctions, when visibility is restricted, and before pedestrian crossings. 

Not giving way, such as for pedestrians at pedestrian crossings, can also result in fines of 10,200 kroner. 

Meanwhile, not using your indicators, not having the right lights on, and other offences can lead to fines of up to 3,900 kroner. 

Things like tailgating, running red lights, being on the wrong side of the road, illegal overtakes, failure to give way, and having people under 15 in the car without a seatbelt will all result in points added to your licence.  

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