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A guide to driving in

G Hungary is one of the oldest countries in Europe. It was founded in 896, before France and Germany became separate entities, and before the unification of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. G Hungary has 10 million inhabitants and 3,685,677 registered vehicles, of which 3,055,427 are passenger cars. G There are nearly 3.1 million licence holders, along with 193,103 kilometres of road. G A total of 1,363 road kilometres is made up of motorways and express highways. G Hungary is situated in East-Central Europe and shares its borders with Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia. G Budapest, the capital of Hungary, consists of the districts of Buda and Pest, separated by the River Danube. Nine bridges connect the two halves of the city. G The international vehicle ID code is `H'

This document was last revised on

VISITOR INFORMATION AT A GLANCE

HUNGARY

5 April 2011

Please see next page for comprehensive information on specific road rules and TISPOL's advice on safer driving.

G The minimum age for driving is 17. From the age of 14 it is possible to drive a moped.

Driving facts

A guide to driving in HUNGARY

G During the past few years, the number of registered motorcycles in Hungary rose considerably from 91,193 in 2000 to 142,251 in 2010. G There were 55 motorcycle fatalities in 2000. In 2010, there were 58. G In 2000, 346 pedestrians died in road traffic accidents in Hungary. G In 2010, 213 pedestrians died in road traffic accidents. 71 of them caused the accident. G 97 of the pedestrians killed were aged over 60 years. G Only 12 of pedestrians killed were children (aged under 14). During 2000, there were 366,433 trucks registered in Hungary, and this figure rose to 416,672 in 2010. Altogether during the past year, trucks covered a distance of approximately 53,522 million tonne-kilometres on Hungarian motorways. G The capacity of goods being transported on the roads during one year is more than 344 million tonnes. G During 2010, truck drivers caused approximately 8.6% (1,569 of 16,307) of the total number of road traffic accidents. Truck drivers were blamed for approximately 10 % (77 of 739) of fatalities. G It is forbidden for a 7.5-tonne truck to overtake on two-lane motorways and expressways between 6 am and 10 pm.

Motorcycles

G Hungary has a zero-tolerance policy on drink driving, which means that no amount of alcohol is to be consumed before taking a vehicle onto the roads. G Since 2008, a licence is withdrawn from the driver on the spot, and is returned after the driving ban period decided by the authorities has expired. G Drivers found with a blood alcohol content level of up to 0.5 grams/litre are considered to have committed a minor offence. G Drivers with a level above 0.5 grams/litre will receive 5 penalty points, a fine of up to 100,000 HUF and a driving ban of between one and 12 months. G Drivers registering levels of more than 0.8 g/l commit traffic crimes will receive 9 penalty points, a fine to be decided by a court, a driving ban of one to 10 years and imprisonment for up to one year. G 130 km/h for cars and motorcycles G 100 km/h for buses. G 100 km/h for cars towing a trailer. G 80 km/h for trucks (heavier than 3.5 tonnes) and also for trucks with a trailer. G In 2010 there were 739 road deaths. G In 2009 there were 822 road deaths. G In 1998 there were 1,371 road deaths

Drink-drive limit:

Pedestrians

Trucks

Motorway Speed limits

Annual road deaths Enforcement

Call the Police! Hívja a rendorséget!

Useful phrases

Do you speak English? Beszél angolul?

Where is the nearest fuel station? Hol van a legközelebbi benzinkút? I am lost. Eltévedtem. Thank you! Köszönöm!

G Penalty ranges are determined in the legal regulations on minor offences and the penal code. G Law enforcement officers are authorised to issue on-the-spot fines. G These can only be paid by using the special "yellow cheques" issued to the driver by the police officer. G There are 2,648 traffic police officers. Public order patrols also carry out some traffic surveillance, and damage-only accidents may be attended by general policing units. G Major changes in 2008 brought the introduction of the principle of owner's responsibility and the related administrative fines. G The zero-tolerance policy on drink driving was introduced, with the police power to withdraw a driving licence on the spot. G The penalty points system was also made more severe.

Recent legislation changes

In an emergency, call 112. Visit the Hungarian Police website: www.police.hu (in Hungarian)

Emergency contacts

Pics: Shutterstock

A guide to driving in HUNGARY

Useful regulations and advice What documents must I be able to produce if requested by the police? Driver's licence, vehicle registration document Do I need to carry a reflective jacket in my car? If so, how many? It is not compulsory, but recommended, as you must wear it in case you need to step out of the car on roads outside builtin areas (if your car breaks down or you have a collision). Do I need to carry spare bulbs for the lights on my vehicle? If so, for which lights? No Do I need to carry spare spectacles if I wear them for driving? Do others in the vehicle with me also need to carry spare spectacles if they wear them for driving? No Do I need to carry a fire extinguisher? No Any other requirements I should be aware of regarding the equipment or paperwork I need for a journey in or through your country? None Winter driving What items are required or recommended for journeys made in winter? Winter tyres are recommended Passengers Is there a minimum age or height for a passenger to ride in the front seat? Over 150 cm; or baby in child restraint and baby care, in reverse position and only if there is no airbag on the passenger side or else it is turned off. What specific regulations are in place for carrying babies and children? Regarding the front seat, see above. For rear seats, children under 135 cm in child restraint which is adequate to their age. For those over 135 cm tall, a seat belt is enough. Do you have any specific rules regarding the carriage of dogs and other pets? No Breakdown and collision advice What I should do if my vehicle breaks down, on the motorway and on other roads? Call your Assistance Club number if you have one. If not, you should use one of the SOS phone facilities placed at every few kilometres on the motorway. The telephone number of the Hungarian Automobile Club is 188. Please give clear advice on what I am required to do if I am involved in a collision. If no one is hurt, and you agree with the other involved driver(s) on who is to be blamed, just exchange your insurance cards. If you do not agree or there are injured persons, call the police: the number is 112. In what circumstances must I call the police after a collision? You are obliged to call the police if there are injured persons Local knowledge Are there dangers to road users from wildlife? If so, in which parts of your country? Answer: you can expect wild animals (deer, wild boar, etc.) cross the road ahead in the mountainous areas and forests, but not very often. These road sections are indicated by road signs. Which roads do you suggest should be avoided by visitors (because they are very busy at certain times, or they have a high collision rate)? Answer: We have no specific recommendations. Clearly, city roads and urban motorways will be at their busiest during the rush hour periods. Youc an also expect heavy traffic at the start and end of holidays.

And finally...

"Size isn't everything! Hungary may be a small country, but it packs an awful lot within its borders.There is diversity in its landscape, which ranges from flat and grassy plains to lush peaks and valleys, and in its culture, which makes room for both traditional wooden churches and vibrant modern nightclubs. The natural, cultural and historical riches to be experienced in Hungary are reflected in its high concentration of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Budapest is a hive of top-class music and art, with one of the world's best opera houses and a host of museums and galleries, while bustling festivals take place all over the country at all times of the year."

Major Zsófia Szász TISPOL, Hungary

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