If you plan to drive, know that a licence issued in any EU country is valid across the whole of the EU, but drivers from non-EU countries need to get a Czech driver’s licence if they are staying in the country long-term (and if they own a vehicle purchased in the Czech Republic). A certificate of insurance is also required. This is normally valid for three months and shows that you have third-party liability insurance.
Before leaving, be sure that you are sober; the Czech Republic does not tolerate drink-driving.
The Czech Republic follows the usual continental rules of the road. A right turn on red is permitted only when indicated by a green arrow. Signposts with yellow diamonds indicate the main road where drivers have the right of way. The speed limit is 130 kph (78 mph) on four-lane highways, 90 kph (56 mph) on open roads, and 50 kph (30 mph) in built-up areas and villages. Seat belts must be worn in front seats, and rear seats were fitted. Children under 12 years or less than 150 cm (5 feet) in height may not travel in the front seat. All vehicles must have their lights on at all times, day and night. It is illegal to hold or otherwise use a mobile phone (or any handheld electronic device) without a hands-free kit, and pedestrians must be given the right of way at crossings. On the motorway, it is permitted to pass on the left only—but this law is regularly flouted. If you’re involved in a collision, don’t move your vehicle until the police arrive. If you must, for safety reasons, mark the position of both cars before doing so.
Reporting Car Accidents
If you’re involved in a car accident in which there is significant damage, or both parties involved do not agree about compensation on the spot, you must inform the police. You must not move your vehicle until there has been a police inspection. If the cars have to be moved for safety purposes, mark the original position of each car on the ground (chalk or lipstick will suffice). In case of emergency, motorists can call road traffic assistance (UAMK) on phone number 1240. They operate 24 hours a day and can be called from highway telephones, located every two kilometres alongside the road. You can also flag down a UAMK van: they are yellow and bear the text ‘road assistance’.