Norway

Published 2004.05.20 | Last update 2015.01.11

norway_250x250-w32Norway has gone Norwegian when comes to the country’s reaction towards drivers who violate the low speed limits.

The speed limits are among Europe’s lowest, while the reactions are certainly Europe’s toughest. Motor roads with two lanes (Class A) may have a max speed of 110 km/h – but this only applies to a small portion. The rest have a max speed of 90km/h or 100km/h.
The common speed limits outside urban areas are 60, 70 or 80 km/h.

Important numbers : playground_50x33 country_50x33 town_50x33
Limit – km/h 30 50 70 80 90 90 100 110
Fine +20km/h €509 €509 €436 €436 €436 €436 €436 €436
Fine +40km/h - - - - - - - -
LICENSE(1 56 76 106 116 126 131 141 151
JAIL(2 76 96 125 136 150 150 165 175
1) 3 months – 3 years
2) unconditional, minimum 18 days

The controls are everywhere, they are done by both radar, laser, and civilian cars (lots of). The civilian cars are next to impossible to spot: They never sport double rear-view mirrors as in other European countries.
Radar-jammers, laser-jammers and detectors are, of course, strictly forbidden.

Norway is the only European country who regularly condemns its citizens to prison sentences for speeds that seem perfectly natural for citizens of other European countries.
150 km/h on a motor road under perfect conditions is enough to land you in jail for at least 18 days – unconditionally.
And remember that any license witdrawal is not subject to any court order as in most other places. The police may even take your license on the spot (you have to leave your car by the road) for 14 days if they only suspect that you have committed a crime that might lead to license withdrawal.
icon_sub_8_T50x50Fixed speed cameras in Norway will always photograph you from the front. It goes without saying that many Norwegian motorcyclists take advantage of this…
Of special interest to motorcyclists is the sign “Overtaking forbidden” (or crossing a double line): Although the sign shows two cars, don’t be fooled. Cars may not overtake cars, cars may overtake motorcycles, motorcycles may not overtake cars. There sureley must be purely historical reasons for this and it is many years ago that the then Western German traffic authorities tried to change this rule. The rest of Europe, however, did not agree..
Of course, we all know that this is an incredibly stupid rule. In Norway, the rule is strictly enforced and will leave with a fine of NOK 5200 (€630) and no license for between 9 and 12 months.
sign_veikryss_652x571If you see this sign (and even if you don’t see it), pay attention. It means that there is a road crossing ahead and the Priority to the Right applies. It means that a driver of any vehicle is required to give way to vehicles approaching from the right. In Norway where many intersections are not controlled with priority signs, this rule causes much confusion and often results in misunderstandings and accidents for foreigners who visit Norway:
If you drive on a road which is not explicitly marked with right of way, you must always stop for traffic which arrives from your right. This rule is strictly enforced and applies even if you are driving on a major road and the traffic from your right is on a minor road.

This rule, although based on the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic in 1968, is unknown to many foreigners. It is not implemented in the UK and Spain where all intersections are marked with give way and stop signs.
Wikipedia has more on this.

Why is this rule strictly enforced in Norway?
German Wikipedia has the history of this rule:
It originated with the Vikings and their ships and how the rudder was placed because the Vikings, then as now, are mostly right-handed …)

Year City Country
1912 15 km/h 35 km/h
1926 25 km/h 35 km/h
1935 35 km/h 60 km/h
1955 40 km/h 70 km/h
1965 50 km/h 80 km/h

Source: Wikipedia – Fartsgrenser i Norge (in Norwegian)

Norway differs from most other countries due to the fact that Norway already in 1912 set a maximum speed limit and then, gradually, increased the limits. Other countries started with unlimited speed and later set limits and then gradually lowered them from the seventies and onwards. Here are the common speed limits in Norway from 1912 until today.

 norwegian flag of honour Welcome to Norway!

Norway in Detail :
Violation Fine (NOK) Fine (Euro) Points
+ 1-5 km/h 600 72 0
 60 km/h and lower + 6-10 km/h 1 600 194 0
+ 11-15 km/h 2 900 352 2
+ 16-20 km/h 4 200 509 3
+ 21-25 km/h 6 500 788 3
LICENSE + 26 km/h and more Heavy fine -
Community work(2
highest number for limit 60
+ 42 km/h
+ 50 km/h
Minimum 30 hours -
JAIL
highest number for limit 60
+ 46 km/h
+ 55km/h
Minimum 18 days -
+ 1-5 km/h 600 72 0
 70 km/h and higher + 6-10 km/h 1 600 194 0
+ 11-15 km/h 2 600 315 0
+ 16-20 km/h 3 600 436 2
+ 21-25 km/h 4 900 594 3
+ 26-30 km/h 6 500 788 3
+ 31-35 km/h 7 800 945 3
LICENSE(1
highest number = Motorway Class A
+ 36 km/h and more
+ 41 km/h and more
Heavy fine -
Community work(2
highest number for limit 100+
+ 50 km/h
+ 55 km/h
Minimum 30 hours -
JAIL
highest number for limit 100+
+ 55 km/h
+65 km/h
Minimum 18 days -
1) the lowest number is for “motorway” Class B (single lanes, no crossing traffic), the highest for motorway Class A (double lanes)
2) In 2007 it became practice to sentence the guilty to community work when the speed just surpassed the old limits. This means that you serve anything between 30 and 420 hours in unpaid work that is deemed good for society.
Source: Lovdata: Forskrift om forenklet forelegg i vegtrafikksaker. (Norwegian only)
Values in Euro are approximate.
Points / Prikker:

In Norway you start with zero points and lose your license for six months when you have accumulated eight points in the last three years. When you get your license back you start with 0 points.
In addition to the speeding offences above, these offences will reward you with three points:

  • Driving on a red light
  • Dangerous overtaking
  • Jumping a ‘give way’ or ‘stop’ sign, not giving way for traffic from your right, not stopping for pedestrians crossing/or trying to cross a pedestrian crossing
  • Crossing a solid or double-solid line
  • Driving with a too small distance to the vehicle in front of you
  • Driving with a trimmed motorcycle or moped
  • Failure to secure passengers under the age of 15

The official rules on Norwegian points (Norwegian only).

speeding_2012_406x434After driving in Norway for more than forty years I do, of course, have stories to tell (I once did 141 kmh on a Norwegian motorway with a jail limit of 140 kmh).
New, however, was my experience in 2012 : I found that Norwegian traffic police have for more than thirty years, despite warnings, used a method of speed measurement that has made thousands of innocent drivers lose their license and put some of them to jail – or pay a too high fine.
Read more on this in my blog.

License withdrawal periods:

Note that these rules presume dry asphalt in daylight on straight roads.

License withdrawals :
Speed km/h
License withdrawal (months)
30
56 – 65
65 – 70
70 – 75
75 – 80
80 – 85
85 – 90
90 – 90
Over 90
3 – 7
7 – 9
9 – 12
12 – 18
18 – 24
24 – 30
30 – 36
36+
40
66 – 75
75 – 80
80 – 83
83 – 87
87 – 90
90 – 93
93 – 97
97 – 100
100 – 105
105 – 110
Over 110
3 – 6
6 – 8
8 – 10
10 – 13
13 – 15
15 – 18
18 – 21
21 – 24
24 – 28
28 – 33
33+
50
76 – 82
82 – 90
90 – 95
95 – 100
100 – 105
105 – 110
110 – 114
114 – 118
118 – 122
122 – 126
126 – 130
Over 130
3 – 6
6 – 9
9 – 12
12 – 15
15 – 18
18 – 21
21 – 24
24 – 27
27 – 30
30 – 33
33 – 36
36+
60
86 – 95
95 – 100
100 – 106
106 – 112
112 – 118
118 – 124
124 – 130
130 – 136
136 – 142
Over 142
3 – 6
6 – 8
8 – 12
12 – 16
16 – 20
20 – 24
24 – 28
28 – 32
32 – 36
36+
70
106 – 110
110 – 114
114 – 118
118 – 120
120 – 123
123 – 126
126 – 129
129 – 134
134 – 140
140 – 146
146 – 152
152 – 160
Over 160
3 – 6
6 – 8
8 – 10
10 – 11
11 – 13
13 – 15
15 – 17
17 – 20
20 – 24
24 – 28
28 – 32
32 – 36
36+
80
116 – 120
120 – 130
130 – 140
140 – 150
150 – 160
160 – 170
170 – 180
Over 180
3 – 5
5 – 8
8 – 13
13 – 19
19 – 25
25 – 30
30 – 36
36+
90
Motorway class B
126 – 135
135 – 145
145 – 151
151 – 157
157 – 163
163 – 169
169 – 175
175 – 181
181 – 187
187 – 194
194 – 200
Over 200
3 – 6
6 – 9
9 – 12
12 – 15
15 – 18
18 – 21
21 – 24
24 – 27
27 – 30
30 – 33
33 – 36
36+
90
Motorway class A
131 – 135
135 – 137
137 – 139
139 – 141
141 – 145
145 – 151
151 – 157
157 – 163
163 – 169
169 – 175
175 – 181
181 – 187
187 – 194
194 – 200
Over 200
3 – 5
5 – 6
6 – 7
7 – 8
8 – 9
9 – 12
12 – 15
15 – 18
18 – 21
21 – 24
24 – 27
27 – 30
30 – 33
33 – 36
36+
100
141 – 145
145 – 147
147 – 149
149 – 151
151 – 155
155 – 161
161 – 167
167 – 173
173 – 179
179 – 185
185 – 191
191 – 197
197 – 204
204 – 210
Over 210
3 – 5
5 – 6
6 – 7
7 – 8
8 – 9
9 – 12
12 – 15
15 – 18
18 – 21
21 – 24
24 – 27
27 – 30
30 – 33
33 – 36
36+
110_TG50x50
151 – 155
155 – 157
157 – 159
159 – 161
161 – 165
165 – 171
171 – 177
177 – 183
183 – 189
189 – 195
195 – 201
201 – 207
207 – 214
214 – 220
Over 220
3 – 5
5 – 6
6 – 7
7 – 8
8 – 9
9 – 12
12 – 15
15 – 18
18 – 21
21 – 24
24 – 27
27 – 30
30 – 33
33 – 36
36+
For the official rules on license withdrawals, see Lovdata: Forskrift om tap av retten til å føre motorvogn (Norwegian only).

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