European Car Safety Ratings
1. Speed limits
Special Speed Limits
The speed limit for vehicles towing trailers, caravans, etc is 80 km/h (or less where signposted).
The speed limit for trucks (over 3.5 tonnes) and single deck buses is 80 km/h (or less where signposted). The speed limit for double deck buses is 65 km/h.
*A lower speed limit may be signposted where road conditions dictate
2. Caution should be exercised when driving under the influence of alcohol. The legal tolerance limit is 0.08%.
3. Wearing of seat belts is compulsory in front and rear seats.
4. Children under 12 years age not permitted in front seats.
5. It is recommended to carry breakdown warning triangle, first aid kit, fire extinguisher and spare bulb kit in vehicle. If you wear glasses, bring a spare pair in the car with you.
6. Minimum Driving age: 17 years.
7. Documents required when driving
8. Drive on the left and vehicle headlights should be focused accordingly.
9. Avoid accidents at traffic signals by not braking suddenly when the lights turn to amber. This note particularly applies to drivers from GB who frequently create accident situations for themselves by not adopting to the driving style of the country they are driving in.
Traffic coming from the right-hand side has precedence on roundabouts (traffic rotaries)
11. Direction Sign Colo(u)rs
Freeways/Motorways = Blue
Tolls are payable at two points in the Dublin area - M50 Ring Road
between the N4 and N3 interchanges only and on the R131 East Link Bridge. In
each case the toll is approximately € 1.00 for cars, with higher tolls for
vans and trucks.
13. Automobile club breakdown services
AIT Tel 1-800 66 77 88 (0800 88 77 66 in NI)
14. Tips for North Americans driving in IRL for the first time
A car is the best way to see Ireland. Driving styles and regulations differ in every country. It usually takes between a few hours and a day to get used to a new driving environment, particularly if you have not driven in the country before.
Parking regulations are strictly enforced, particularly in Dublin city. Tow trucks and vehicle disabling programs are in operation. Parking meters operate in the downtown area - check signs for days and hours of chargeable parking specific to a location. The typical cost € 1,30 to 1,90 per hour). Many meters are of the "Pay and Display" variety, with a single solar powered meter serving about 20 spaces. As coins are inserted, the parking expiry time for the amount inserted is displayed. When sufficient coins have been deposited, pressing the green button causes a two part ticket to be printed. The larger part should be stuck to the winshield, and the counterfoil can be retained as a reminder of when the parking expires. Disk parking operates outside the central zone and in some suburbs and many cities outside Dublin. Multi-story car parks (typical cost € 1.50 to 2.50/hr - some offering discounts for overnight use) are signposted along the parking routes with advance space availability indicators showing how many spaces are left in each park. These parking space availability displays are updated every minute. Some of these car parks payment machines accept Visa, MasterCard and Eurocard payments (eg Stephen's Green and Royal Surgeons). If you have recently rented a car in Dublin and have no Irish change to hand, follow the parking route signs to one of these car parks and use a credit card to pay.
16. Dublin Traffic Control Centre
Call 1-800 29 39 49 (free incl. from payphones and mobiles) with
signposting suggestions, traffic signal fault reports, information on parked
vehicles causing congestion and traffic jams caused by roadworks.
17. Broadcast traffic reports on radio
The traffic information of the motoring organizations is broadcast in
English by RTE Radio 1 and 2 and most commercial radio stations. Call 1-850
542 542 to notify the traffic centre of any problems on the roads. Calls
charged at 9.5p each (ex VAT) irrespective of duration or whether you are
calling from a mobile or ordinary fixed line.
18. Fuel prices
Fuel costs in Ireland are at about European average levels.
19. Drivers Licenses
When renting a car most car rental companies will require a drivers
license issued by the state you are normally resident in - and not an
"international driving license".
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