Traffic Safety and Road Conditions
While in Georgia, you will encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. As in the United States, vehicular traffic in Georgia moves along the right side of roadways. Speed limits range from 80 to 100 km/hr on highways, and from 30 to 60 km/hr on urban thoroughfares. Motorists are not permitted to make right turns at red traffic lights. Front-seat passengers are required by law to fasten their seat belts in moving vehicles. Georgian law requires that children under four (4) years of age be restrained in child-safety seats, however these are not widely available or used. Children under twelve (12) years of age may not legally ride in the front seat, but this law is not widely observed. A driver with any blood-alcohol concentration exceeding 0.00% is considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol.
You should exercise extreme caution when driving in Georgia, as many local drivers do not operate their vehicles in accordance with established traffic laws. Traffic signals and rules of the road are often completely ignored. Motorists drive erratically, often recklessly, at excessive speeds, and many times under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Motorists frequently encounter oncoming high-speed traffic attempting to pass other vehicles at blind turns or over hilltops. Pedestrians enjoy no right-of-way and need to be extremely careful when crossing streets. The Georgian Patrol Police, who come under the authority of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, are responsible for maintaining traffic safety in Georgia, but enforcement of traffic regulations is haphazard. There is no requirement that vehicles are certified safe to drive, and some vehicles may not have working headlights or tail lights.
Undivided two-lane roads connect most major cities in Georgia. Outside of major highways, roads are generally in poor condition, unpaved, and often lack shoulder markings, center lines, and lighting. In addition, traffic signals may not work due to poor maintenance. Driving at night can be especially dangerous. Travel on mountain roads is treacherous in both rain and snow, and during winter, heavy snowfalls may make some roads impassable.
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