Many tourists are shocked by Norway’s seemingly slow speed limits when driving a car, and are wondering if these speed limits are for real. There are some countries where the speed limits are mere suggestions, while they are hard caps in other countries.
So, what’s up with speed limits in Norway? Are they just suggestions, or are they hard limits to how fast you can drive your car?
The speed limits in Norway are definitely hard limits, and you can get a speeding ticket by being even barely over the speed limit. All speed limit signs are the absolute max speed limit, and you absolutely do risk getting pulled over if you drive even 5 kmph above the speed limit.
All speed limits are hard limits
All of Norway’s speed limits are hard limits, and you are not legally allowed to go even a few kmph above it. The law reads that the speed limit is the upper limit you can drive at, and you are supposed to keep below it at all times.
The police absolutely enforce the speed limits, and will give you a fine if you are driving faster than the speed limit. Speeding tickets in Norway are horridly expensive, so I would not even want my worst enemy to get one!
And yes, before you ask, it will be billed to you back in your home country, so you can’t run away from your speeding ticket by leaving Norway.
The speed limits even applies when you change to a lower speed zone. You need to break down your speed before getting into the new speed zone, and you are supposed to be below the new speed limit as soon as you pass a sign with a lower limit.
There are examples of people who have gotten a ticket by not breaking down just before the change in speed limit.
The same applies the other way; if you see a sign that the speed limit will increase, wait until you actually pass the sign before increasing your speed.
Why are Norway’s speed limits so slow?
Many people, both Norwegians and tourists are frustrated by Norway’s slow speed limits. It’s common for rather good roads to have a speed limit or 70 or 80 kmph, which is far slower than the same road would have in other countries.
So what’s the reason behind Norway’s slow speed limits?
The reason is simply that slower speed limits have proven to have a much lower fatality rate. The higher the average speed limit in a country, the higher the number of fatalities per capita.
Norway has one of the modern world’s slowest roads, but also one of the world’s lowest number of car fatalities.
Overall, the Norwegian politicians feel that saving human lives are more important than increasing the speed limit, so for now they seem to want to keep them rather slow.
Nicklas is the owner and editor of The Norway Guide, and is responsible for most of the content on the website.
He lives in Skien, Norway with his wife and two children. Nicklas is specialized in Norwegian ecology (including Norway’s geology, wildlife and flora) from his degree in Ecology And Nature Management at University of South-Eastern Norway, but has a particular interest in tourism and content creation.
His biggest hobbies are fishkeeping, going on hikes with his dog, and rooting for the local football team.