Beware of Europe's sometimes quirky traffic laws
Fines for splashing pedestrians, hogging the middle lane or driving dirty cars? DW takes a look at some of Europe's strange but often sensible traffic laws.
Splashing people, hogging the middle lane? It'll cost you.
A British motorist has been fined about £1,000 (1,400 euros; $1,600) for hogging the middle lane of a motorway. He also got hit with five penalty points. Police can also hand out on-the-spot fines of £100 for careless or inconsiderate driving - such as splashing pedestrians. Researchers say hogging the middle lane can cause traffic jams. And let's face it, splashing people is just rude.
Clean up your act
Don't mind if your car looks messy? Well, police in Romania sure do. It's illegal to drive an "excessively dirty car." You can be punished for not cleaning your license plate, headlights and taillights. It probably wouldn't hurt to clean the windows too.
Race of the slowest?
We've all been there - stuck watching one truck slowly overtaking another. Switzerland has decided to put an end to snail-paced races with a law requiring vehicles in the far-left lane of a three-lane highway be able to go at least 100 km/h (62 mph). The new regulations are due to come into effect in 2016.
Winter is coming…
…so brace yourself with winter tires when traveling to Iceland between November and April. Iceland is not the only country that requires snow tires in winter - Austria, Estonia and Finland, among others, as insisting on winter weather gear. While it's not mandatory to carry snow chains in most EU countries, it's still a good idea to have them handy.
That's not a carwash
Streets are regularly swept in Finland, so Avis warns car renters to keep up with the cleaning schedule. The city of Helsinki posts street signs, information on the Internet and sends text messages all to let car owners know when to move their vehicles. And those who fail to do so...well, city officials will remove it for them…for a charge.
Lit up - day and night
"Turn on the lights when it's dark" is one of the first lessons in drivers' ed, but Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Poland are the among the countries where it's mandatory when the sun is shining too. And since 2011, all new passenger cars and small vans in the EU have to be equipped with daytime running lights that automatically turn on when starting the engine.
One's not enough
Remember to bring a spare pair of glasses if you plan on driving in Spain! You'll be required to have an extra pair if it's noted on your driver's license that you need glasses in order to drive. Now just remember to put them in the glove compartment!
What's the time?
Germany's famous Autobahn has often been described as a road with no speed limits. While some sections of it don't have a general speed limit, there are plenty of rules on how fast you're allowed to drive in Germany. You might even have to keep track of time, as certain rules only apply at certain times during the day. That also goes for speed limits elsewhere too, such as in front of schools.