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Motorways & clearways


  • Indicated by the Motorway sign.
  • Traffic travelling 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 slip roads are part of the motorway, which means that the same rules apply to them.
Motorway and a bridge.

A typical motorway. Traffic is separated, and intersecting traffic crosses the road via a bridge.

Motorway entry slip roads

  • If there is an acceleration lane, neither those in the acceleration lane nor those already 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 already on the motorway.
  • Leave the entry slip road as soon as you can. Remember to check your blind spot.

On a motorway, it is forbidden to:

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

Risks associated with motorways

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 like an appropriate place to stop.


  • Indicated by the Clearway sign.
  • The same rules and safety considerations as on motorways apply, except that:
    • Oncoming traffic may occur. (This is rare, cable barriers are often used.)
    • Acceleration lanes may be missing, and exit slip roads may be shorter than on motorways.
    • It is not forbidden to use the hard shoulder.

As clearways are not subject to the same safety requirements as motorways, accidents occur more frequently.

2+1 road.

2+1 road that prevents head-on collisions.

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

Speed blindness

When you slow down after a prolonged period of driving at high speeds, it often feels that the speed you are driving at is lower than it actually is. This phenomenon is known as speed blindness, and can result in you misjudging distances and your stopping distance.

The risk of speed blindness increases with:

  • Wide roads without any distractions.
  • Quiet and comfortable cars.
  • Driving at high speeds for a prolonged period.

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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