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Motorway & clearway

Motorway

  • Indicated with the sign Motorway.
  • Traffic going in different directions is always separated. In other words, there are no oncoming cars.
  • No intersecting traffic on the same level.
  • Both exit and entry ramps belong to the motorway, which means that the same rules apply to them.
Motorway and a bridge.

A typical motorway. Traffic is separated and the bridge over the road handles intersecting traffic.

Motorway entry ramps

  • If there is an acceleration lane, neither those in the acceleration nor those on the motorway have priority. Mutual consideration and adaptation apply.
  • If there is no acceleration lane, those entering have an obligation to give way to traffic on the motorway.
  • Leave the entry ramp as soon as you can. Remember to check your blind spot.

On the motorway, it is forbidden to

  • Stop and park.
  • Turn around (central barrier openings are only intended for rescue vehicles and road workers).
  • Reverse.
  • Walk.
  • Cycle.
  • Hitchhike or pick up hitchhikers.
  • Drive a moped.
  • Use the hard shoulder other than in an emergency.
  • Tow.
  • Drive a vehicle that is not designed to drive at a speed of at least 40 km/h.
    • Exception: EU mopeds (45 km/h) are forbidden.
  • Drive a tractor or heavy equipment.

Risks associated with the motorway

Motorways are generally safe to drive on. However, there are a few risks that you should pay particular attention to:

Notice the white car. Nobody has priority. Mutual consideration and adaptation apply.

You are not allowed to stop at the red arrow, even though it looks appropriate.

Clearway

  • Indicated with the sign Clearway.
  • Same level of safety and same rules as on a motorway, except:
    • Oncoming traffic may occur. (This is rare, cable barriers are often used.)
    • Acceleration lanes may be missing and exits may be shorter than on motorways.
    • It is not forbidden to use the hard shoulder.

As the safety requirements are not as strict on clearways, they have more frequent accidents than the motorways.

2+1 road.

2+1 road that prevents head-on collisions.

However, many clearways have been fitted with cable barriers, making them into so called 2+1 roads. These are very effective in preventing head-on collisions.

Velocitization

When you slow down after driving fast over a longer period of time, it will probably seem to you that you are driving slower than you actually are. This phenomenon is called velocitization and can result in you misjudging distances and your stopping distance.

The risk of velocitization increases with:

  • Wide roads without any distractions.
  • Quiet and comfortable cars.
  • Driving fast for a long time.

Heavy lorries

  • Heavy lorries may drive at a maximum 90 km/h on motorways and clearways. On other types of road, the maximum speed for heavy lorries is 80 km/h.

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