There are many places around the world where crossing the road without using a designated crossing can result in a fine. The technical term for this is often called jaywalking, and you as a pedestrian need to know the rules to not get fined for improper crossing.
But what are the laws like when it comes to crossing the roads in Norway, and is jaywalking illegal in Norway? Let’s dive in for a closer look.
Jaywalking is perfectly legal in Norway as long as you are not endangering anyone, and you will not be fined if you cross a road without using the pedestrian crossing. However, you are legally required to use a pedestrian crossing if there is one nearby.
If there are no designated crossings nearby, you will not get any fines or legal trouble from crossing any regular road on foot as long as there are no oncoming cars or other traffic.
There is one case where you can potentially get in legal trouble, and you might face legal repercussions if your crossing end up causing damage to other pedestrians or vehicles. To put in it other words, you might get into trouble if you cause a situation where a car might need to veer our of the road to not hit you or something like that.
How to cross the roads legally in Norway
So even though there are no jaywalking laws in Norway, there are some laws that dictate how you need to behave when crossing a road (found in Forskrift om kjørende og gående trafikk). The short summary is that:
- You should use a pedestrian crossing if there is one nearby.
- You need to make sure that there are no oncoming cars when you cross the road.
- You are not of any public disturbance when crossing the road. So don’t cause a near accident!
- You are not hindering traffic.
So to summarize, make sure that there are no nearby traffic that is disturbed by your crossing.
If you are wanting to cross a road, just wait until there are no cars coming, then cross it in a timely manner. You will find that people are running across the street in bigger cities like Oslo and Bergen, which is technically illegal, but something that many people do.
Just be careful and prioritize your own safety if you’re doing this.
Cars are legally required to stop for pedestrians at crossings
If you find a pedestrian crossing, then you can safely cross it without worrying too much about traffic.
All cars are legally required to stop for any pedestrians who are either crossing or even planning to cross. This means that the car drivers must slow down their cars if there are people nearby the crossings (since these could potentially quickly go out on the road).
The pedestrian crossings are easily seen by large white stripes (in a zebra pattern) that goes directly across the road. The are accompanied by a blue signpost that shows a man crossing the road. You can see what a Norwegian pedestrian crossing looks like on the photo below:
There are also traffic light controlled pedestrian crossings. These uses the classic red man for “no go” and a green man for “go”, so click on the bottom and wait for the light to go green. A photo of this type of crossing is found at the start of this article.
It’s worth keeping in mind that cars are exempt from the rule that they need to stop for pedestrians if there is a red light for the pedestrians.
I would also recommend that you always pay some attention to the traffic even though all the cars are legally required to stop. The reason is simple; some drivers are bad drivers, and others are just straight up breaking the law to save time.
So always take a glance at the oncoming cars to make sure that they are slowing down before crossing the road.
Cases where it’s illegal to jaywalk in Norway
There is an exception to the rule, like most rules. When it comes to highways, no pedestrians are legally allowed to enter, walk alongside the road or cross the road.
Highways are strictly for motor vehicles, and you should under no circumstance cross them on foot.
There are examples of people who have been fined for walking along on highways in Norway, so don’t do this. It’s also literary putting your life in danger!
It’s pretty easy to tell if you’re on a highway or not, since all highways will have signs of a man with a big red cross over it to indicate that it’s illegal for pedestrians there.
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.