Traffic Safety and Road Conditions
In Kosovo, road conditions can be extremely hazardous because roads are narrow, crowded, and used by a variety of vehicles, from KFOR armored personnel carriers to horse-drawn carts. Many vehicles are old and lack standard front or rear lights. Mountain roads can be narrow and poorly marked, and lack guardrails, quickly becoming dangerous in inclement weather. During winter months, fog can obscure visibility while driving.
Driving safely in Kosovo requires excellent defensive driving skills. Many drivers routinely ignore speed limits and other traffic regulations, such as stopping for red lights and stop signs. Drivers routinely make illegal left turns from the far right lane, or drive into oncoming lanes of traffic. The combination of speeding, unsafe driving practices, poor vehicle maintenance, the mixture of new and old vehicles on the roads, and poor lighting contributes to unsafe driving conditions. Pedestrians should exercise extreme caution when crossing the street, even when using crosswalks, as local drivers sometimes do not slow down or stop for pedestrians.
A valid U.S. driver’s license is required for U.S. citizens to drive in Kosovo. The use of seat belts and headlights is mandatory at all times. A driver with a blood alcohol level higher than 0.05 is considered intoxicated. Travelers entering Kosovo by road must purchase local third-party insurance. In Kosovo, it is illegal to use a cell phone while driving unless you are using a hands-free device. The penalty for illegal cell phone usage is 35 Euros. Drivers traveling between Serbia and Kosovo are subject to insurance, license plate, and other regulations.
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