Driving in Bahrain




People in Bahrain love to drive, and most people, both the local and expat population rely mainly on cars as a mode of transportation within the Kingdom. The roads in the major towns in Bahrain are generally well maintained and are four to six lanes wide. The roads in the smaller towns and villages tend to be narrow and twisting. While the majority of the roads are safe to drive on as they are wide and tarred and maintained, the driving practices tend to be unsafe, however the driving practices in Bahrain are the best in the region. Bahraini drivers are generally friendly and unhurried, if you see a car driving erratically it is usually driven by an expat where such driving practices are common, or by someone from a nearby Gulf country.

The minimum driving age in Bahrain is 18 years. Traffic in Bahrain moves on the right hand side. Traffic circles are common on Bahraini roads and follow the British system with cars in the circle having right of way. There are speed limits and speed cameras posted on Bahraini roads, it is common for drivers to drive up to 50km/h over the posted speed limit. It is advisable to stay out of the fast lane on the highway in order to avoid tail gaiting and causing an accident. There are repercussions for those who break the speed limit and fines can go as high as BD100 or six months in prison. The speed limits are 60km/h in towns and residential areas, 80-100km/h on open roads and 120km/h on the highways.

Talking on your mobile phone while driving is prohibited in Bahrain and violators will be fined. It is also mandatory to wear your seatbelt if you are the driver or a front-seat passenger. No law has yet been introduced for seatbelts in the back seat. Babies are not allowed to be transported in the front seat and, while it is not law, parents should have the appropriate child seat for their baby.

Under Bahraini law, eating, drinking and smoking are also prohibited while driving. Driving under the influence of alcohol is strictly prohibited and offenders are fined and imprisoned accordingly.
People who want to rent a car in Bahrain will usually have to be over 24 years old. However some rental companies allow younger drivers to rent. Tourists should have an international driving license. In general Bahraini residents should have a Bahraini driving license which they should carry with them, every time that they drive. All cars must be legally registered and insured.

Source: http://www.expatwoman.com/bahrain/monthly_bahrain_driving_Driving_11335.aspx

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