Motoring & Toll Roads
1) The Austrian Road System:
During summer time, driving conditions on Austrian roads and highways are excellent. All the main roads are paved and kept in good shape.
In winter, however, from December to March, drivers must reckon with snow on all Austrian roads; this applies above all to mountain roads at higher altitudes. Thus, when driving in winter, winter tires are absolutely essential. When driving in precipitous terrain, snow chains must be used.
2) Driver's license:
An international drivers permit (IDP) is required for Austria. It can be purchased through the AAA club and is valid for one year. When driving abroad, carry both your IDP and your state driver's license with you at all times. An IDP serves as an official, internationally recognized translation of your license.
3) Traffic regulations:
They are similar to those of other European countries. The speed limits are 100 km/h [62 mph] on freeways (Bundesstraße) and 130 km/h [81 mph] on highways (Autobahn). In residential and urban areas, the speed limit is usually set at 50 km/h [31 mph], unless posted otherwise.
4) Toll roads:
Since January 1, 1997 it has been compulsory for vehicles to carry a toll sticker, the so-called Vignette, on Austria's highways. The vignette is available at automobile clubs (e.g. ÖAMTC, ARBÖ), in post offices and tobacco shops as well as at some gas stations.
If driving without a valid toll sticker or a sticker not properly affixed, you will be subject to high fines. The police and customs authorities are authorized to collect the toll evaded, together with an additional sum as a substitute fine.
For further information (mostly in German), please follow the Quicklinks.
5) Alcohol while driving & Traffic accidents:
Driving while under the influence of alcohol (or drugs) is severely punished. The minimum fine is approx. € 360, and loss of driver's license. The maximum limit of blood-alcohol level is 0.05.
All traffic accidents involving personal injury must be reported immediately to the police. Accidents involving material damage (fender benders) must be reported only when the identity of the other party cannot be established.