Well, it’s taken a while, but I finally got this driving thing figured out in relation to driving in a different country. I’ve learned it matters what time of day you drive, what you are driving, and weather will also determine what set of laws to obey. And then there are laws that apply to all the above.
Time of day is very essential to the speed limits. If you’re driving early in the morning, and there’s not much traffic, speed limits don’t apply, especially here in Denmark because the traffic police are not out that early, everyone knows that. I know this because many mornings I am on the road around 0530 or so and even though I am driving the speed limit, 90% of the vehicles pass me like I am standing still. It’s either there is an un-posted speed limit or everyone else knows your allowed 10 -20kph (kilometers per hour) over the speed limit during this time. I have not read all the Danish driving laws, but I’m just guessing all these people can’t be wrong?
Trucks have governors on so they can’t drive over 90kph on the motorways, so even on the normal highways they just do the same – go as fast as they can. I know this for sure as when I’m driving 80kph, the posted limit, trucks I see way back are soon right behind me. Now if they were driving the speed limit when I’m driving the speed limit, how can they get right behind me so fast?
Motorcycles are not held to the same laws as we are. I’ve come to learn there must be a completely separate set of laws for them. Their speed limit is – just go faster! It doesn’t matter about the posted limits anywhere. And this is all times of the day, not just morning times. Especially good weather evenings. The road in front of our house is awash in the summer time with crotch rockets winding their rpms to the max. Normally, when outside I can hear them as they top the hill about a half a mile from our house. Once topped, I hear the rpms start to wind as the gears are shifted to high. Screaming past our place I can never tell what type of bike it is because they are traveling too fast. On the main highways it’s the same – varoom – and away they go. I mean, can all these crotch rocket riders be wrong?
One thing I’ve noticed that’s the same, no matter what country you’re in – traffic lights. We all know red means stop; green means go; and yellow means go faster! This is standard in the States and here in Denmark as well. It is nice to know that some traffic laws are the same. Holding a telephone in hand while driving, by the secret traffic laws is ok. Even though it’s preached it is illegal, I’ve come to learn it must not be. When I see the so called professional drivers (truck drivers) holding the phone up to their ear, well it must be ok. I wouldn’t think trucking companies would let their drivers do anything illegal. And I know it doesn’t apply to anyone driving farm equipment on the roads – all the time I see the right arms bent holding the phone to the ear while they drive. And I know bicycles are not covered under any type of laws. They can even have both hands busy doing the “send a text message” thing instead of controlling the bike. I’ve always wondered why I spent the money to get one of those hands free ear pieces so I don’t have to hold my phone while driving?
STOP signs are pretty much universal. There aren’t many here, but those I’ve seen and from observing the Danish drivers, I’ve come to learn they are more or less kind of like the YIELD signs. But with the STOP signs one might slow down a little more than with the YIELD signs. YIELD signs, one pretty much takes the corner as fast as they can while keeping control of the vehicle. The STOP sign, I’ve noticed there is a definite slowing down, especially if there is a vehicle approaching from the left or right.
I have yet to see weather really effect traffic much. Fog is only dangerous if you’re driving a white vehicle. Other than that, it’s just peddle to the metal and go for it. I’ve been in fog so thick I couldn’t find my behind with both hands and yet distances between cars is never extended and speeds don’t seem to change. I’m guessing there is some sort of emergency type of system built into the roads which helps driver avoid accidents in the fog, or more and more cars are now equipped with radar! Snow and black ice do seem to have some effect, but this is only temporary. Once a vehicle has entered the traffic, there must be some sort of energy field taking over the situation because sooner or later most vehicles start to speed up. I’m guessing there is some type of energy field that is activated to effectively keep the tires of vehicles from sliding around. Boy, I wish I’d had something like this when I grew up!
So if you’re going to take a trip to Denmark and rent a vehicle, don’t worry – here you can do pretty much anything you want to do, just as long as there are no fender benders or such – so I have observed!