Norway has the strictest driving fines in Europe, study shows

Norway tops the table for the most expensive fines for drink-driving, running red lights and motorway speeding, compared to the rest of Europe, a new study has revealed.

Norway has the strictest driving fines in Europe, study shows
Watch your speed, Norway's driving fines are eye-wateringly expensive. Photo: Olivier MORIN / AFP

Drinking and driving is not only dangerous but incurs hefty fines in much of Europe, but none as expensive as in Norway, a new study by driving institute Zutobi found.

Being 0.02 percent over the blood alcohol limit in Norway will cost you an eye-watering €5,783 at a minimum.

This compares with the Czech Republic, where drink-driving penalties start at just €19 for having anything over zero percent alcohol in your blood.

Norway also has the most expensive fines for running red lights — penalties of up to €756 are charged, far outpacing the €10 minimum penalty levied in Albania, the European country with the least expensive fines for ignoring the stop signal.

Norway tops the table for driving fines compared to Europe. Source: Zutobi

The Nordic country is just as strict when it comes to speeding on motorways: get caught exceeding the statutory 110km/h speed limit and you could be charged as much as €711, hundreds of euros above Italy, the second-strictest European country for speeding fines.

You’re much less likely to be snapped racing down the road, though, as Norway only has 311 speed cameras compared to Italy’s 8,073.

READ ALSO: Norway trebles fine for using mobile phone at the wheel

At the other end of the scale, these countries are lax with their driving fines, with Albania placing first for the least strict in Europe. Source: Zutobi

At the other end of the scale, the least strict country in Europe for driving fines is Albania, with motorway speeding starting at just €20 and an almost unnoticeable €8 fine if you’re caught using your mobile phone while driving.

Zutobi gathered its data on fines, speed limits and blood alcohol limits from Speeding Europe, SCBD and Auto Europe.


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Why the cost of toll roads in Norway’s major cities could increase

The cost of using roads in Norway's biggest cities could increase due to the governemnt changing the rules for the funding it gives local authorities to spend on transport and tolls.

Why the cost of toll roads in Norway’s major cities could increase

Norway’s government has changed an agreement on local transport funding introduced under the previous administration, public broadcaster NRK reports.   

As a result, money earmarked for reducing tolls or freezing prices in Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, and Trondheim can now be spent elsewhere. 

The government has changed the existing agreement on transport funding, which was introduced due to toll roads being a heated topic during the 2019 municipal election, to allow local authorities to increase the cost of using roads to fund other transport improvements. 

“The change means that local authorities will have greater freedom to adjust toll rates. But it must be assessed in each individual case whether local changes to the toll system will require a new submission to the Storting,” the Ministry of Transport and Communications told NRK. 

Essentially the change means that the central government contribution to urban growth planning in cities used for keeping toll road prices down has been axed. 

This means that Norway’s big cities will have around 3.7 billion collectively over the next seven years that had been allocated to reduce tolls that can now be spent on other transport projects. 

However, local councils will have to agree on how the money should be spent and whether they want to increase tolls or not. 

“If local governing authorities want to change the use of the grant funds, it must be dealt with locally politically,” the Ministry of Transport and Communications said. 

Toll prices could go up from next year if local authorities choose to raise prices, according to the ministry. Newspaper Bergens Tidende reported in June that toll rates in Bergen would return to 2020 levels. In Oslo, local politicians have signalled that they are unwilling to decrease the cost of using toll roads.