Austria

Heavv traffic, like lorries and trailers, have so far not been allowed to drive on Sundays between 07.00 – 20.00.
In 2004 from the 3rd July until the end of August this ban goes also for Saturdays.
This is because of the very intensive traffic during the vacation period in Europe.

Driving in Austria is much the same as in Germany. The traffic is not as heavy and fast though.
We have now reached the Alps and the landscape is different and so are of course the roads. Tunnels, bridges and curves are frequent and there are not that many lanes on the Austrian Autobahn.
Take care when driving through tunnels. Coming in high speed from bright sunshine into a tunnel with poor light is not easy to your eyes, slow down a bit and take it easy.

Vignette and Maut

Before you start to drive onto the Autobahns or Schnellstrassen (expressways) you have to buy a Vignette (a tax sticker), which should be placed in the middle or to left of your front windscreen. They are valid from one year down to 10 days (10 days is what you need to the cost of EUR 7,60).
Coming from Germany you can get them at the border crossing, petrol stations close to the border and other places. If stopped without a valid Vignette you will be fined, no pardon here.

You also have to pay a fee, Maut, when driving on the Hochalpenstrassen and roads with tunnels preferably in the Alps.
As we are coming from Germany and are heading for Venice, we have to use one of these roads, the Brenner-Autobahn.
It is very a beautiful road with fantastic views but also with many tunnels.
The cost for a one way journey is about EUR 8 and are paid at the Mautstelle.

Speed limits

On the Austrian Autobahn maximum speed is 130 km/h. This speed is fixed and not like in Germany only recommended.
In built-up areas 50 km/h
Outside built-up areas 100 km/h.
On some roads and even some parts of the Autobahn there are other lower limits, for example like Brenner, where the limit is 100 km/h.
Follow the limits, as radar controls are rather frequent and on-the-spot-fines are high (be sure to get an official receipt if you are caught because of too high speed).

Other rules and info.

Seat belts front and rear are obligatory everywhere.

Remember that children must be at least 12 years of age to sit in the front or rear seat unless they are over 1.5 metres tall (unless a special seat or seat belt is fitted).

You are not allowed to use your cellular phone unless you have a handsfree equipment.
You have to wear a Warning and- visibility vest when walking on the road or on the emergency lane or maybe changing a wheel.
Found without this vest you will be fined, in other words it will be wiser to get one in time.


Listening to the Austrian local radio stations of programme 3 is a good idea.
Again excellent info on accidents, cueus, traffic problems due to bad weather and so on.
On weekends there are often long cueus at the Mautstelle.

If you are stopped with more than 0,05 % alcohol in your bloodstream you will get fines or even suspension of your driving license.

Accidents with personal injuries must be reported to the police.
In winter season you are allowed to use studded tyres but as in most Alp countries you have to use snow chains if you pass a blue sign (common in the mountain passes) with a chained tyre on.

Use dipped headlights also in day time.

Petrol: Unleaded 91 is called blyfrei normal
Unleaded 95 is called Euro-Super
Unleaded 98 is called Super Plus
Diesel is Diesel.
LPG is called autogas

Petrol in Austria is cheaper than in Germany and Italy so fill up your tank before you continue into Italy.

Useful links:
There are two main motor organisations with 24 hour service so called Pannendienst:
http://www.oeamtc.at/ (= ÖAMTC - Der Österreichische Automobil-, Motorrad- und Touring
ÖAMTC phone number 120

http://www.arboe.at/
ARBÖ phone number 123
Even if you are not a member they will help, if you pay for it.

Important phone numbers:
Emergency 112
Police 133
Ambulance 144