Driving in Romania

Hi,

What do you think of the way people drive in Romania? How different is it from your home country?

Respecting the road safety rules, driving etiquette such as general courtesy, speed excess… what are the characteristics of the driving style in Romania?

Share with us the difficulties one may face when driving in Romania: peak hours, road conditions, accident, etc. and your advice to drive safely in the country.

Thank you in advance for participating,

Maximilien

I absolutely hate driving here in Romania.  A study last month showed that only 37% of people actually pass the exam which isn't surprising.  Of those, it seems most people forget the rules as soon as they pass the exam or bribe the police to get their license.   Speeding, cutting off others, driving drunk, following too close, driving on the wrong side of the road, parking on sidewalks, double and triple parking are all common things here.  Many people don't even put their children in approved seats, or even secure them with seat belts, not to mention letting them stay in the front of the car.  Taxi drivers are especially the most reckless.  Also, many people don't maintain their cars well (compared to other EU countries) which also contributes to the lack of safety on the roads, and the government doesn't maintain the roads satisfactorily.  Finally, the police don't seem to enforce the rules apart from random checks or when an accident has already occurred.

In march, when I had my car parked in a parking lot at Baumax, another car sideswiped mine and damaged the entire drivers side of the car.  No one witnessed it apparently, and the driver fled and didn't report it as required to the police.  I was left to repair my car at my own cost.  Just this week, after having repaired and repainting half of my car, I come out from my apartment to find the drivers side door all gouged again.  I've really had it with people's lack of respect for rules and others' personal property and safety.

Romaniac

Like every day I like to punch someone in the face for driving like an idiot.
Almost every day I see a situation where there is almost an accident

Like 90% drives with lights that not work good or not at all. Shine tu much up or the drive with the fog lights and the height beam.

Not normal around here.

I have seen how they take drivers lessons and it is a disaster.
Only drive around in the city. Not one time the instructor said tu put on the safety belt.
Never drive more than a max of 60 km/ h

And in the end when the police takes the exam you pay 200 euro and you pass ,no questions ask.
The only thing you need to pass and can not pay off is the other part of the exam at the computer. Because they are looking at you with cameras from Bucharest.

My question is why the don't take this people off the road and give theme a fine. It will be a great income for Romania. And I think when the start giving this fines the people also take more care of there car and think twice before driving around like complete idiots.

The reckless speeding is mostly down to having a soft penalty system. I recently had to renew my UK licence for a Romanian one so had to look into the rules for penalty points and so on. Basically, you get 15 points (rather than 12 in the UK) and receive 2 or 3 for speeding (depending how far above the limit you are). These points are cleared off your licence in 6 months (opposed to 4 years for the UK) meaning you'd have to be caught between 5 and 8 times in a six-month period to lose your licence.

Then take into account how many times you can get away with bribing the traffic cops and you quickly understand why there are so many perpetual speeders on the road. It explains why the Auditossers drive like idiots with a death wish - because there's little downside to their behaviour (except death, of course) considering the minimal chance of a ban and the fact that the fines are insignificant to them.

Also, new drivers in the UK only get 6 penalty points to play with in the first two years, meaning if they get caught speeding a couple of times in that two year period, bye bye licence. Quite an incentive to learn to be a good driver.

When in Rome, do as Romans do.

I am romanian and I drive.Comming from Transylvania, the slowest people from Romania, I could say that I respect driving rules, very common like in whole Europe.I can assure that in Hungary is same.Bulgaria is worse.I drove in all Europe and the differences aren't big, meaning driving equal style of life.Here everybody's in hurry and the streets, roads especially was projected long time ago and very often you wake up being stuck in traffic, when mostly of us escape, just going fast to arrive to destination.Please don't punch in face to no one.

I think if you can drive in Romania & remain accident free you deserve an advanced driving licence! Coming from England I find the standard of driving, arrogance of many roadusers & total inattention to the road staggering. I drive with eyes on all 3 mirrors, never turn left even when i've indicated without looking back as some idiot is usually overtaking me, have lost count of the times i've slammed on my brakes to allow the car overtaking me back in before it is mashed to a pulp by oncoming vehicles & always slow right down on tight bends as there's often a vehicle coming from the other direction hogging all the road. Double parking, sideways parking, loads hanging meters out of car boots, children not even sitting let alone secured, half the drivers chatting on their mobiles or texting. I watched a woman in a 4x4 reverse into another car. She said it wasn't her fault as it was too small to see! The local police spent last Saturday at the traffic island into Campulung stopping every driver who ignored the stop lines at the island. I nearly got written off there recently by a driver who just carried on from a side street, onto the island without even slowing down then waved his first at me for being in the way. Diabolical driving generally.

DRIVING  in romania.well I'm not currently driving although I have been driving in Ontario for the last 20 yrs. I don't think I will be driving here anytime soon.been here since March 2015 and have been watching these drivers.One thing I don't understand  when you want to cross the road at a crosswalk why does everyone run ITS  A CROSS WALK for crying out load .I mean don't crawl across but don't run they won't run you over they have to wait .in Ontario the crosswalks have a large lit sign and a cross which blinks and chirps from blind people. And you can take your time as well.we canadians are patient and polite. So next time you cross the road  remember you have the right of way no matter how many time he honks and swears at you.  (Be safe look both ways)

Hello.am driving since one year ago and there are so many things to discuss, there are good positive things as there are bad and negative things.let's talk about bad things
Parking problem ,as you know Bucharest is a big city with just afew parking places so therefore people are parking all over side walks.
So many people don't respect rules and I don't know if police are sleeping or having fun somewhere else
A lot of Roads are damaged
Gouvernement is not taking care of it
I think so many people don't have driving license
And police are good just to put radar between cities
Anyhow I've been told that with 10 lei you can bribe police
From what I watch on TV there are so many crashes dut to driving drunk
As a good things ,there are people respect walkers and respect the others and respect laws

Good post my friend.i was in Bucerest 3 times since March and I was freaking out by the amount of speeders on the street.i saw a traffic cop dodging the cars had to laugh though.man in Ontario you would be screwed and your car confiscated. In brasov everything is in walking distance so I will stick to cabs and walking. Chow patrick

Really poor driving with no courtesy and no understanding of the risk.  12 times more likely to die in Romania than in the UK based on 2009 data.  Romania remains by far the worst in Europe by all official stats (far worse than Bulgaria and Hungary).

What's incredible is that Romanians don't seem to understand the level of risk on the roads, and will often deny the dreadful state of driving.  This only makes the problem worse-nothing will change until  the problem is acknowledged and accepted.

You are right.they don't realize the risks they take.its that famous line (it's always been this way) why change?  If you tried to bribe an Ontario officer you would be handcuffed and tossed in the cruiser .I don't see enough young police officers here in brasov they need to be re trained or let go.if I spoke the language better I would go into politics and ruffle a few feathers downtown..tackle the tremendous amount of coruption from the smallest councilor to ministry of affairs.

Driving in Romania is fraught with danger. Drive defensively all of the time. My Romanian colleauges say that the set up of the driving lessons and testing makes it easy for bad drivers to have a license. I also hear that basically you can buy a license.
A lot of Romanian drivers think that indicating gives them right of way and they will pull out on you.
Romanians will park anywhere they can including the pavement, this means that pedestrians, including parents with children in push chairs have to walk on the road.
I live on a busy road and people often cut across two lines of traffic at roundabouts to turn left.
The police drive with a mobile phone stuck to their ear so it is no suprise that half of other driver do. By the way it is illegal in Romania,
Romanians are impatient, drive like hell to the next set of traffic lights just to wait there, most of them are rude discourtious and ignorant. There are young people driving cars that are too big and powerful for them.

You hit the nail on the head my friend

Good news is that they've made the driving test even easier! From October, once you've passed the computer part (22 correct out of 26 multiple choice questions) you don't have to take it again regardless of how many times you try to take the practical part. Thus, if you can't afford to bribe the policeman don't reach the exacting standards of the practical part, you can just keep trying till you do get your licence.

My Romanian colleauges say that the set up of the driving lessons and testing makes it easy for bad drivers to have a license.

Your Romanian colleagues are right. Essentially, for the driving test you need a medical certificate attesting to your fitness to drive (physical and mental) which is bought, often from your instructor who'll know an obliging doctor. You have to go a school to learn driving theory for 24 hours of lessons, but nobody does - as long as you pay the school, they don't much care whether you attend or not and will give you the evidence of attendance. You're also supposed to take 30 hours of practical lessons with the instructor, but again, as long as you've paid him in full, he doesn't much care if you take them all or not. No skin off his nose if you fail - just means more work for him. The cops they've caught take bribes were usually asking upwards of 500 Euro for a pass.

thats just   ubelivable  in ontario that  just  doest happen. I have never heard of anyone bribing the teacher at you driving test you may see a big breasted girl flashing her self at him doesnt know if that works. although when i  went to do my practical test it was a blizzard outside the teacher just looked at me and sighed  and said lets go  so i turned right  went around the block turned right and i was back in the parking lot he said your fine get out. i had to laugh but i think the weather was a big part of it.
ontario has a strict driving code and the police will stop you for everyhting every police officer has a qoute he has to give a certain amount of tickets each day or any other infraction  we dont call that corroption we just call that the money grab. police will pose as a homeless person and catch you on the phone or without a seat belt thats a 110 dollar fine or 2 points. or stand over the over pass on a bridge and take pics of you speeding then send you the pic and a big fat ticket
there very inventive to ways to grab your hard working bucks. i not saying everyone abides by the law but we dont drive crazy like here. as  far as lessons if you take classes 30 hrs or more you car insurance will be cheaper. but the insurance  companies are a different kind od crook. the amount of fraud due to  accidents is just unbelivable in ontario.
to find a honest mechanic to properly fix your car and charge you fair price is 1 in a million..i lucked out and found a guy who was great he only charged me for parts no labour.

Yeah, it's the same in the UK. The test was done perfectly straight (although when I took it, there was no theoretical part except for a few questions of the 'name this sign' type at the end of the practical test) so most people on the road do, in theory, know how to drive well. Plus, the cameras and police presence and the harsh penalty system will deter a lot of people from driving like jerks. Sure, it's a pain, but the figures speak for themselves regarding road deaths per 100K cars: Canada - 9.3, UK - 6.2, Romania - 47.3!!!

Hi maykal ,im going to be registering my car in romania when i get there next month have you any idea how much/long  this will take ? also  changing my uk drivers license to a romanian one as requested by law ,did it take long ? expensive? thanks in advance !

Hi
I asked the RAR the same question. Here is their reply:

[i]The Romanian Automotive Register (RAR) does not establish or collect environmental or other registration taxes. As an approval authority, we only perceive fees for our services. In order to register your vehicle in Romania, you will need a Vehicle Identity Card (CIV). This document is issued by us (RAR) after the approval and the cost is 1197,80 lei (around 250 €, VAT included).

Plus you will then need an ITP (MoT) test.
Plus a fee for number plates.

A friend is currently changing his British driving license to Romanian. He took the medical - apparently apart from the eye test it was more like a group keep fit test involving such things as standing on one leg for a minute. You will need a translator if you don't speak Romanian to follow the instructions! He is still waiting for the interview to change the license to Romanian. Apparently they are backlogged due to Romanians returning from the UK & swapping their UK licenses back!!!
Regards Sue

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