Driving in Romania

If driving in Romania - especially in Bucharest - you will need to have nerves of steel, and bags of patience. The rules of the road as you know them simply do not apply. In Romania, a good rule of thumb is that the bigger and more expensive the car, the fewer rules of the road the driver has to obey.

A few examples of what you may have to deal with:

One way signs are purely for decoration. Romanians ignore them if they are inconvenient.

Pedestrians are not taken into consideration when they are crossing the road, even if the priority is theirs. Even at pedestrian crossings, drivers will disregard pedestrians as they cross the street.

Drinking and driving is technically against the law, though it depends on who you are and how much money you have to offer the police. Many Romanians drink and drive as a matter of course.

As with so many aspects of Romanian life the fault for much of what goes on daily on the country's roads lies squarely at the door of the police force. Once as corrupt as hell they are now merely useless.

Some strata of Romanian society, such as the celebrated Manele singers adored by the lower orders drive unhindered even though they have never bothered taking driving tests and have no license.

Note that the driving test in Romania is (allegedly) notoriously corrupt: a pass can (allegedly) be bought easily. This explains many of the sights you will see on the roads.

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