Up to what age should a child be in a child seat? Is talking on a mobile phone while driving punishable in Greece? If we rent a bike or a quad, is a helmet mandatory? These are questions we receive from you, so we have gathered the traffic rules in Greece in one place to make it easier for you to find them, drive according to the rules, and avoid penalties.

Traffic rules in Greece – what you need to know if you are traveling by car to the sea?

Most of the rules are the same as in other countries, but we need to know and respect them, both for safety reasons and because of the high amount of fines.

Safe driving

In Greece, as everywhere else, the rule applies that the driver’s attention must be focused on traffic.
What most people don’t know and have few examples of is that a driver can be fined if, for example, they smoke a cigarette while driving, adjust the radio, use a mobile phone, or do anything else that distracts their attention from traffic.

Use of mobile phone while driving

Drivers are prohibited from holding a mobile phone while driving. It is safe to use hands-free devices, provided they are wireless (e.g., via Bluetooth).

Headphones

The use of headphones for audio and video equipment is prohibited.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

The maximum allowed level of alcohol in the blood is 0.5 per mille.
For drivers with a driving license of less than two years, drivers of official vehicles, and motorcyclists, a limit of 0.2 per mille applies. Driving under the influence of drugs is prohibited.

Rules for pedestrians on the road

If there is no sidewalk, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road as much as possible, unless it poses a danger to them. On the other hand, individuals pushing or walking beside a bicycle, scooter, or motorcycle must walk on the right side of the road.

Transporting children in a car in Greece

Children up to 3 years of age may only be transported in an approved and appropriate child seat.
Children up to 12 years of age, who are shorter than 1.35 m, must be transported in an approved and appropriate child seat or on an approved and appropriate booster seat. A regular seat belt is sufficient for children over 12 years old with a height of at least 1.35 m.
If a child is transported facing forward in the front seat, the airbag must be deactivated.

Smoking in the car in Greece

It is forbidden to smoke in the car in the presence of a child under the age of 12. The penalty for violating this rule is high, and the driver’s license is even revoked in the case when the smoker is a passenger and not the driver. For more information on the Law on smoking ban in Greece, please see here.
You can read more about regulations and standards for transporting children in cars in Greece in our article here: Rules for transporting children in cars.

Driving in Greece - intersections, roundabouts, overtaking

Driving in the mountains

On narrow mountain roads, ascending vehicles have the right of way over descending vehicles.

Priority

At an intersection, you must give way to drivers coming from the right, unless otherwise indicated by traffic signs. In smaller places, unwritten rules of priority are often applied. Therefore, tourists are advised to always give way to local residents’ vehicles, such as agricultural vehicles.

Roundabouts

Unless indicated otherwise (by a stop sign, a priority sign, or traffic lights), drivers on a roundabout must give way to drivers entering from the right. Priority or stop signs are being installed on an increasing number of roundabouts, and drivers entering the roundabout must give way to drivers already on the roundabout.

Overtaking in Greece

Drivers are only allowed to overtake a tram stop if there is an island between traffic lanes. Overtaking is forbidden when approaching an unsecured railway crossing.

Parking in Greece

The police have the right to confiscate license plates of vehicles that are parked improperly in Greece.
Parking is prohibited next to a yellow line on the road.
Parking is also prohibited in the following places:
Within 3 meters of a fire hydrant.
Within 5 meters of an intersection, a stop sign, or traffic lights.
Within 15 meters of a railway crossing, a bus stop, or a tram stop.
 
In Athens, there are special parking lots for tourists visiting the city. Here, you can also park (briefly) with a caravan. Parking is prohibited in the green zones in Athens, except at parking meters.

Honking

Within city limits, the horn may only be used if there is a direct danger of a collision.

Lighting

Like in many other European Union countries, drivers are required to use lights during the day when visibility is poor.

Rules for scooters and mopeds in Greece

Helmet - Wearing a helmet is mandatory for scooter and moped riders.
Lighting - Using low-beam headlights is mandatory for scooters at night and in poor visibility. However\, it is advised to use low-beam headlights during the day as well.
Passengers on a scooter in Greece - It is allowed to carry a passenger on a scooter or moped if there is a designated seat available.

Rules for cyclists in Greece

Helmet - Wearing a helmet is not mandatory in Greece.
Mobile phone - As far as is known\, cyclists are prohibited from holding a mobile phone while riding. The use of hands-free devices is allowed.
Lighting - Bicycles must have fixed lights. The front light should be white or yellow\, while the rear light should be red. Additionally\, a red reflector must be installed on the rear of the bicycle. The bicycle must also be equipped with functional brakes and a bell.
Passengers - It is not allowed to carry passengers on a bicycle\, except for small children in child seats.
Riding side by side - Riding bicycles side by side is not allowed.

Traffic rules for motorcycles in Greece

Helmet on a motorcycle in Greece

Wearing a helmet is mandatory for both the rider and the passenger. Passengers in a sidecar are not required to wear a helmet.
The driver and passenger(s) on a tricycle must wear a helmet.
The driver and passenger(s) on a quad bike must wear a full-face helmet or a motorcycle helmet with protective goggles. Wearing a helmet is not mandatory only if the tricycle or quad bike has a cabin. If the driver’s helmet does not have a visor, the driver must wear goggles.

Lighting rules

The use of low-beam headlights during the day is mandatory for motorcycles in Greece.

Passengers on a motorcycle

It is allowed to carry passengers. Children under the age of 5 must be transported in an appropriate child seat and wear a properly fitting helmet.
Traffic rules regarding trailers - Motorcycles with foreign license plates are allowed to tow a trailer.

Speed camera detection and radar detection rules in Greece

The use and possession of radar detection equipment is prohibited. As far as is known, the use of equipment with signage for fixed speed cameras or control sections (such as navigation devices and phones) is allowed.

Traffic signs in Greece

Warning signs usually have a yellow background instead of a white one.
All main and side roads have signs with text in Greek and English.
A rectangular blue sign with a white field and black outlines of villages or urban landscapes indicates the beginning of city boundaries.
The same sign with an emphasized red line indicates the end of city boundaries.
Blue and white signs with the black name of the city are also used to mark city border zones.

Traffic signs for vehicles and motorcycles

The sign indicating a highway has a green background instead of blue.
A circular blue sign with a tire and chain on it indicates the obligatory use of snow chains.
A circular white sign with a red border and black number on it (e.g. 30) indicates the minimum speed.
A circular white sign with a red border and a black arrow curving left (or right) with a red diagonal line indicates: No left (or right) turn.
A triangular yellow sign with a red border showing half of a black car with irregular horizontal lines on the right side warns of possible fog.

Rules for cyclists and pedestrians

In addition to the circular blue sign with a white bicycle on it indicating a bicycle lane, there are also similar signs indicating obligatory lanes for pedestrians and cyclists, with or without separate sections for cyclists and pedestrians.

Rules for transporting cargo in Greece

Cargo that protrudes more than 1 m to the rear must be equipped with a red and white striped sign. The cargo may protrude up to a maximum of 40 cm in width, measured from the vehicle’s lights. Wider cargo must be marked. The maximum width of a vehicle with cargo is 2.55 m without mirrors. At night and in poor visibility, the cargo must be made visible by placing lights and reflectors at the front (white) and back (red).

Winter tires in Greece

Snow chains are only allowed when the road is covered in ice or snow. Snowfall and ice can occur between November and March. If chains are used, the maximum speed is 50 km/h.
For more information about traffic regulations and penalty amounts for violations, see our article Traffic Regulations in Greece.
To view the official website of the Traffic Law and Mandatory Equipment in Vehicles in Greece, click HERE.


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