Traffic Safety and Road Conditions
While in Morocco, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Morocco is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Traffic accidents are a significant hazard in Morocco. Driving practices are very poor and have resulted in serious injuries to and fatalities of U.S. citizens. This is particularly true at dusk during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, when adherence to traffic regulations is lax, and from July to September when Moroccans resident abroad return from Europe by car in large numbers.
Congested streets are characteristic of urban driving. Drivers should also exercise extreme caution when driving at night due to poor lighting systems along roads. Traffic signals do not always function, and are sometimes difficult to see. Modern freeways link the cities of Tangier, Rabat, Fez, Casablanca, and Marrakesh. Two-lane highways link other major cities.
Secondary routes in rural areas are often narrow and poorly paved. Roads through the Rif and Atlas mountains are steep, narrow, windy, and dangerous. Maximum caution should be exercised when driving in the mountains. Pedestrians, scooters, and animal-drawn conveyances are common on all roadways, including the freeways, and driving at night should be avoided, if possible. During the rainy season (November - March) flash flooding is frequent and sometimes severe, washing away roads and vehicles in rural areas. Often Moroccan police officers pull over drivers for inspection within the city and on highways. Confiscation of a driver’s license is possible if a violator is unable or unwilling to settle a fine at the time of a traffic stop.
In the event of a traffic accident, including accidents involving injuries, the parties are required to remain at the scene and not move their vehicles until the police have arrived and documented all necessary information. The police emergency services telephone number is 190.
While public buses and taxis are inexpensive, drivers typically exhibit poor driving habits, and buses are frequently overcrowded. The train system has a good safety record. Trains, while sometimes crowded, are comfortable and generally on time.
Foreign driver’s licenses are valid for use in Morocco for up to one year. After that, foreign residents must pass the Moroccan driver’s test and obtain a Moroccan driver’s license.
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