If you’ve ever driven in Europe, you’re probably aware that different countries have different driving laws. For most travelers the biggest challenge would be having to drive on the opposite side of the road in the UK and Ireland, or learning a new set of road signs. However many people are shocked when they get pulled over and get a ticket for doing something that is legal in much of the US: talking on a cell phone.
Talking While Driving in Europe: Common Sense vs. Law
Most people would agree that talking or texting on your cell phone while driving is distracting, and more states in America are growing less tolerant of it. Here in Maine, there is legislation that most likely will ban the use of hand held cell phones while driving. It’s a trend that is growing in the States but in Europe, the use of cell phones while driving has been illegal for quite some time.
For the record, we’re not saying don’t use a cell phone in Europe. In fact, that’s the opposite of what we’re saying. You should have a cell phone with you, if nothing else for safety. Europe is extremely cell phone friendly, just not on the roads while driving. This applies to every country in Europe. If you must make a phone call in the car, and there is no passenger available to make the call, try to find a place to safely pull over. If you absolutely positively must talk while driving, (as of today) the use of hands free devices is legal everywhere in Europe except Portugal. Check out the full list of countries that have banned cell phones while driving.
Remember, wherever you go in Europe, it’s best to brush up on laws and customs beforehand so you don’t end up in an embarrassing situation! Safe travels!