The new Road Traffic Act adds new traffic signs, changes road markings and speed limits and introduces freedom for parking and choosing lanes. Mostly traffic rules stay the same as before.
Pay attention to others and be flexible when required. The new Act emphasises not only caution but also anticipation and planning in traffic.
Take responsibility. Everyone's responsibility for their own choices and their vehicle is increased.
Learn new traffic signs. Most of the changes in the new Act will be seen with the help of traffic signs.
Make sure you know traffic rules. The new Act is also a good opportunity to review traffic rules in their entirety.
Be alert. Many changes concerning traffic signs and road markings have a transition period spanning years. During the transition period, there will be both new and old signs and markings on the road, which requires special attention from all of us.
On two-way roads in built-up areas, stopping and parking on the left side of the road is also permitted, if this does not endanger or inconvenience traffic. Park on the left side of the road only when it does not endanger other road users or cause inconvenience. Even when parking on the left, crossing barrier lines is not allowed.
Be aware of your vehicle’s possible blind spots. Especially from a van or truck, it may be difficult to see what's behind your vehicle.
Assess the situation before parking on the left side. The situation may have been favourable when you were parking, but changed completely when leaving due to busier traffic, for example.
The cycle street is a completely new type of street, that puts cyclists first. Cars are allowed on a cycle street, but they must adapt their speed to the cyclists’ pace. Cycle streets have a separate walkway for pedestrians. The cycle street sign alone does not determine any speed limit; the speed limit on the cycle street is indicated with a separate sign.
A sign with a red two-branched arrow on a blue background indicates that two lanes will merge. When you see the sign, prepare to merge. Drivers are to change to the merging lane by taking turns using the so called zipper method. Anticipation, planning and safe distance between vehicles improve the flow and safety of traffic: slow down before moving your vehicle sideways.
In the future, the maximum allowed speed for passenger cars or vans and lightweight trailers or boat trailers with a maximum mass classification of 750 kg is 100 km/h. Vehicle-specific speed limits have been removed for vans as well as camper vans weighing up to 3500 kg. Now, these vehicles may follow road-specific speed limits (max. 120 km/h).
A speed limit is not a recommended speed. When choosing your speed, take into account weather conditions, your vehicle and its load.
If a crossing road has two or more lanes in the direction of travel, driver may leave the intersection using the most suitable lane while taking other road users into account. Assess the situation before turning: pay attention to any oncoming vehicles or vehicles next to you and behind you. If there is a lot of traffic, the safest option is still to choose the nearest lane. People turning from opposite directions to the same direction cannot determine from your indicator which lane you are turning to. Always remember to use your indicator and maintain a sufficiently low speed when turning and changing lanes.
Two-way traffic may be allowed for cyclists on a one-way street with additional panels. The additional panels will be with the sign indicating a one-way street as well as the “No entry” sign. Cyclists must travel on the right side in relation to their direction of travel. Situations such as encounters, ends of the one-way street and street crossings require special attention.
If so required by weather or road surface conditions, winter tyres with a minimum tread depth of the principal grooves of 3.0 millimetres shall be used during November, December, January, February and March. In other words, you could use summer tyres in January if the weather allows. Take weather conditions into account as a whole, not just the condition of main roads. Do not let winter surprise you. Only drive with tyres that are in good shape. Make it a habit to check your tyre tread depth regularly. Requirements to use winter tyres apply to motorcycles and mopeds as well.
When cycling in dark or dusk or when visibility is limited due to weather or other reasons, bicycle must have red rear light facing backwards in addition to white or light yellow light showing forward. Light can be attached also to the person riding the bicycle, for example to the helmet, instead of the bicycle.
Road markings can be used to indicate a bicycle lane intended for cyclists. Riding on a bicycle lane is no longer allowed for mopeds. The bicycle lane can also be indicated with a traffic sign. Riding on a bicycle lane is subject to the same rules as riding on a carriageway. If there is no barrier line, other vehicles than bicycles can use the bicycle lane for taking the appropriate lane.