Traffic drives on the right and speed limits for vehicles are 50km/h in built-up areas, 90km/h on the open road (100km/h on European roads, denoted by E) and 130km/h on the motorway. Otherwise, the most important rules are the wearing of seat belts and the use of dipped headlights outside towns and cities. It is forbidden to use a hand-held phone while driving, and drinking and driving is severely punished. Police (poliţia) are empowered to levy on-the-spot fines for road traffic offences, but they cannot collect them; instead you’ll be issued with a ticket (typically €40–80); if you settle up within 48 hours – at a town hall or one of the CEC savings banks – then you’ll only have to pay half the fine. If you have an accident, you’re legally obliged to await the arrival of the police. You can get technical assistance and information from ACR (Romanian Automobile Club; acr.ro), whose main Bucharest office is at Str. Tache Ionescu 27 (021 315 5510). In the event of a breakdown, call ACR’s 24-hour breakdown service on 021 222 2222, whereupon an English-speaking operator will direct you to the nearest point of assistance.

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