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Sweden Traffic Rules

Sweden Traffic Rules by Travel Information Europe

The traffic rules in Sweden are sometimes slightly different than in your home country. We list the most important general rules for you.

Traffic rules in general

Some important general traffic rules are mentioned here, including a number of traffic regulations that may deviate from your home country.

Drive safely

Driving under the influence

  • The maximum permitted blood alcohol level is 0.2 per mille.
  • Traces of drugs in the blood are not allowed.

Mobile phone

  • It is illegal in Sweden to keep a mobile phone or other equipment in your hand while driving.
  • It is also prohibited to operate communication or navigation equipment while driving.

Safe walking

  • On roads where there is no bicycle or pedestrian path, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road as much as possible. Skiers, roller skaters and similar road users who go just a little faster than pedestrians may also use the far right side of the road.
  • In Sweden, since October 2018, the rule has been that pedestrians (including runners) must walk on bicycle paths and paths for both cyclists and pedestrians on the left. Pedestrians must keep right on footpaths.
  • Anyone walking along the road in the dark, in dim light or in poor visibility is advised to wear a reflector, clothing with reflective stripes or a safety vest.

Basic traffic rules

  • You have to drive on the right and overtake on the left.

Priority

  • Drivers on roads designated by road signs as priority roads have right of way.
  • At an intersection, drivers from the right have right of way, unless indicated otherwise by traffic signs.
  • Note: Keep in mind that the rule that drivers from the right have the right of way at an intersection is sometimes ignored by drivers on major roads that are not marked as priority roads by road signs. This can lead to dangerous situations.
  • There are crossings in Sweden where there is a priority or stop sign with the Flervägsväjning bottom sign. This sign indicates that all drivers must yield right of way on all roads. Usually, priority is given in order of arrival, but because it is not precisely regulated by law who has right of way, drivers at these types of intersections must take extra into account and make eye contact to avoid misunderstandings.

Roundabout

  • If you want to enter a roundabout, you must give way to drivers already on the roundabout.
  • In Sweden there are also intersections with a circle in the middle that look like a roundabout, but there are no signs indicating that it is a roundabout. Drivers from the right have right of way at such intersections.

To catch up

  • You may overtake a tram on the right, unless there is no space there and overtaking on the left is safe. On one-way roads you can also overtake a tram on the left.
  • If a tram stops at a stop with no traffic island for passengers, you have to wait behind the tram.
  • If a bus stops at a bus stop and a flashing 30 sign is displayed on the back of that bus, the bus may only be overtaken at a speed of 30 km / h.

Standing still

  • It is forbidden to stop (or park) in places where your vehicle is not clearly visible (such as after a sharp bend or at the top of a hill) or where it forms an obstacle to other traffic.
  • It is also forbidden to stop in the following places:
  • Within 10 m for a pedestrian or bicycle crossing.
  • Within 10 m of an intersection.
  • On car (motor) roads.
  • On pedestrian and bicycle paths and bus and tram tracks.

Parking

  • It is forbidden to park on the left side of the road (against the direction of travel), also in parking spaces on the left. You are allowed to park on the left in a street with a tram on the right-hand side and in one-way streets.
  • Parking is prohibited in the following places:
  • Along priority roads.
  • Within 30 meters before or after an intersection.
  • Within 20 m before and 5 m after a tram or bus stop.
  • Within 30m of a level crossing.

Audible tones

  • The horn is only allowed as a warning signal to prevent an accident.

Particularities

  • Insert strips
  • Toll lanes on highways can be very short. Keep in mind that drivers of merging vehicles assume that they are given space by other drivers.

Slow traffic on hard shoulder

  • Many roads in Sweden have wide hard shoulders. Slower vehicles may temporarily divert to the emergency lane on main roads (not motorways) outside built-up areas to allow traffic behind to pass. However, this is not mandatory.

Animals on the road

  • The likelihood of collisions with wild animals such as badgers, foxes, wild boars, reindeer and moose is high in Sweden. Therefore, pay close attention to the yellow warning signs and be extra vigilant in the morning or evening twilight, along forest edges, when crossing water and in the spring (young moose) and autumn (hunting season).
Traffic rules car

Traffic rules car

Lighting

  • The use of dipped beam or daytime running light (including LED) during the day is mandatory.
  • Note: In tunnels, in low light and in poor visibility, daytime running light is not sufficient and dipped headlights must be used.

Children

  • Children less than 1.35 m in height may only be transported in an approved and fitting child seat or on an approved and fitting booster seat with normal seat belts.
  • The driver must ensure that children under 15 years of age but taller than 1.35 m wear a seat belt.
  • In Sweden, it is recommended that children up to 4 years of age are transported with their backs forward in an approved and suitable child seat. Children under 4 years old who are transported face forward must be placed in the rear seat.
  • If a child is transported with the back forward in the front of the car in a child seat, the airbag must be deactivated. Also, children less than 1.40 m tall may only be carried in the front seat if the airbag for that seat is turned off.
  • Children under the age of 3 are not allowed to travel in a vehicle without a child seat (except in a taxi).

Load

  • Cargo may protrude a maximum of 20 cm in width on both sides up to a maximum width of 2.60 m.
  • Cargo protruding forwards or more than 1 m backwards must be marked with a red-yellow flag or cloth and in the dark or in poor visibility with reflectors and lighting (white at the front, red at the rear).

Maximum speed

Mopeds class 1
Within built-up areas (A): 30-45
Outside built-up areas (B): 45
Motorways and highways: prohibited

Mopeds class 2
Within built-up areas (A): 25
Outside built-up areas (B): 25
Motorways and highways: prohibited

Passenger cars, motor homes with a maximum permissible mass <3500 kg and motorcycles
Within built-up areas (A): 30-70
Outside built-up areas (B): 60-100
Motorways and highways: 90-120

Passenger cars with trailer / caravan
Within built-up areas (A): 30-70
Outside built-up areas (B): 60-80
Motorways and highways: 80

Motorhomes with a permissible maximum mass> 3500 kg
Within built-up areas (A): 30-70
Outside built-up areas (B): 60-100 (C)
Motorways and highways: 90-120 (C)

A: The speed limit in built-up areas in Sweden is not automatically 50 km / h. You should always pay attention to the speed indicated on the signs.
B: The permitted speed is almost always indicated by road signs. If there are no signs, a maximum speed of 70 km / h applies.
C: For a camper> 3500 kg registered as a company car, the maximum speed is 80 km / h outside the built-up area and 90 km / h on motorways.

Speed ​​camera signaling

  • The taking and use of radar detection equipment is prohibited.
  • As far as is known, the use of equipment with signaling for fixed speed cameras or section controls (such as navigation equipment and telephones) is permitted.
Traffic rules caravan and trailer

Dimensions, maxima

  • Width combination (excluding mirrors): 2.55 m
  • Height combination  4.50 m
  • Trailer length (including drawbar) 12 m
  • Length combination 24 m (A)
  • A: Any bicycle carrier on the back is included in the length.

Extra wide trailer

  • Transporting a trailer with an indivisible load of up to 3.10 m wide (or a boat up to 3.50 m wide) may not require a special permit. For more information, visit trafikverket.se (search for indivisible load) or the website of the Swedish transport agency transportstyrelsen.se.
Traffic rules motorcycle

Traffic rules motorcycle

Helmet

  • The driver and passenger must wear a helmet.
  • On a trike or quad, wearing a helmet is mandatory unless the vehicle has a closed cabin and the seats are fitted with safety belts.

Lighting

The use of low beam during the day is mandatory.

Passengers

  • It is forbidden to transport more than one passenger.
  • It is forbidden to transport children under the age of 13 on the back of the motorcycle. In addition, children may only be transported by motorcycle if they can reach the footrests with their feet.
  • In a sidecar, children up to 12 years old must be transported in a child seat suitable for them.
  • The sides of the sidecar must be high enough to reach the child’s chest height.

Trailer

It is permitted to tow a trailer.

To overtake

Note: With a traffic sign indicating a overtaking prohibition, motorcycles may not overtake vehicles with more than two wheels. However, engines may be overtaken.

Traffic jams

  • Motorcyclists may carefully drive past a row of stationary cars (not slow-moving cars) of a few hundred meters.
  • Driving on an emergency lane, bus lane or cycle path is prohibited at all times.
  • It is also forbidden to pass a traffic jam on a (fast) road in the middle passage (Rettungsgasse).

Particularities

Backpack on the chest

It is forbidden to ride a motorcycle with a rucksack on the chest if it impedes the movement or visibility of the driver.

Traffic rules moped

Traffic rules moped

  • In Austria, a moped is called a Motorfahrrad or Moped. There is no separate definition of a moped; this falls under the mopeds.
  • A Motorfahrrad cannot be faster than 45 km/h.

Helmet

Wearing a helmet is mandatory on mopeds.

Lighting

Mopeds and light mopeds must also have dipped headlights during the day.

Passengers

  • To be able to transport a passenger, the moped must be equipped with footrests and its own saddle or a buddy seat.
  • Children under the age of 8 must be transported in a suitable child seat.

Place on the road

It is forbidden for mopeds to ride on cycle paths.

Drive side by side

Mopeds are not allowed to ride next to each other.

Traffic rules bicycle

Traffic rules bicycle

Helmet

  • Helmet is mandatory for children under 15 years old. All cyclists are advised to wear a helmet.
  • If a child up to the age of 15 does not wear a helmet, the parents or supervisors (aged 15 or older) may be fined.

Mobile phone

  • Although mobile calls on a bicycle are not prohibited by law, a fine can be imposed if the calling has a negative influence on driving behavior or if it endangers other traffic.

Lighting and other requirements

  • Bicycles must be equipped with fixed lights in the dark and in poor visibility. The light on the front of the bicycle should have the color white and the color red on the back of the bicycle. The taillight may also be flashing red.
  • The bicycle must have a white reflector in front, a red reflector behind and yellow or orange reflectors on the wheels.
  • A bicycle must also be equipped with a bell and properly functioning brakes.

Passengers

  • Taking a passenger is allowed.
  • A child under 10 years old may only be taken on a bicycle if the driver is at least 15 years old.
  • Two children under 6 years old may be brought along if the driver is at least 18 years old.

Trailer

  • It is allowed to ride with a bicycle to which a trailer is attached.

Riding side by side

  • Where this can be done safely, without inconvenience to other road traffic, you may drive side by side.

Cycling under the influence

  • If a cyclist is visibly intoxicated and can no longer control the bicycle properly, a fine may be imposed.

Place on the road

  • Where there are no cycle paths, cyclists should ride on the right side of the road as much as possible. Since 1 August 2018, cyclists in Sweden may also cycle on the road on a road with a cycle path next to it, provided they are 15 years or older and exercise extra caution.
  • Cyclists are allowed to use pedestrian zones, provided that pedestrians are not inconvenienced by this and they drive at almost walking speed.

Turn

  • Cyclists are not allowed to pre-latch when turning left. They must keep to the right until the other side of the intersecting road and turn left there if this is without danger.

Electric bike

  • For an electric bicycle (elcykel) with pedal assistance up to 25 km / h with a power of up to 250 watts, the same rules apply as for a normal bicycle.
  • Wearing a helmet is compulsory for children under 15 years old. Wearing a bicycle helmet is recommended for every driver of an electric bicycle.
  • Where possible, an electric bicycle should be used on the cycle path.

Speedpedelec

  • For an electric bicycle with pedal assistance up to 45 km / h (snabb-elcyklar) the same rules apply as for a moped (the Swedish moped class I).
  • The minimum age to ride a speed pedelec is 15 years and the driver must be in possession of the moped driving license.
  • The driver is obliged to wear an approved moped helmet (standard ECE 22.05). As far as is known, wearing a special speed pedelec helmet (standard NTA 8776: 2016) is not permitted.
  • Speed ​​pedelecs are not allowed to ride on the cycle path.

Motorized bicycle

  • A motorized bicycle (motoriserad cycle) is a bicycle that offers pedal assistance up to 25 km / h but has sufficient power to ride without pedal assistance (maximum 1000 watts). The same rules apply as for a Swedish moped class II, which roughly correspond to the rules for a normal bicycle.
  • The minimum age to ride a speed pedelec is 15 years and the driver must be in possession of the moped driving license.
  • The driver is obliged to wear a helmet.
  • With a motorized bicycle you may ride on the cycle path, unless indicated otherwise by a traffic sign (ej moped, not for mopeds).
Winter tires

Winter tires

  • Mandatory in winter in winter conditions – The use of winter tires (with or without nails) is mandatory from December 1 to March 31 in winter conditions.
  • Winter conditions mean: snow or ice on the road or a wet road surface in combination with temperatures around or below zero degrees.
  • The police have the authority to determine when there are winter conditions on certain roads or road sections.
    If there are no winter conditions, the use of summer tires is allowed, even in the period from December 1 to March 31.
  • Winter tires must bear the snowflake symbol (3PMSF) or the designation M + S, but in the latter case the tires must be specially designed for winter conditions (for example, all-season tires with the designation M + S are not regarded as winter tires). After November 30, 2024, only winter tires with a snowflake symbol will be considered winter tires in Sweden. We recommend that you use tires marked with the snowflake symbol.
  • The prescribed minimum tread depth for winter tires is 3 mm.
  • Winter tires must also be mounted on the wheels of any trailer in winter conditions.
  • If you drive on summer tires during winter conditions and are involved in an accident, there is a chance that you will be held (partly) liable for the accident because you have unnecessarily endangered traffic.

Snow chains

  • Permitted – The use of snow chains is permitted during winter weather conditions or when the road is covered with snow or ice.
  • Snow chains are not for rent in Sweden, but for sale.

Studded tires

  • Allowed in the winter period – The use of studded tires is allowed from October 1 to April 15, regardless of the weather conditions. If weather and road conditions require, studded tires may also be used outside this period. This is often the case in the northern part of the country.
  • If studded tires are used, it is mandatory to fit them on all wheels of the vehicle.
  • If a vehicle with studded tires is towing a trailer, it is only mandatory to also equip the trailer’s wheels with studded tires if the road is covered with snow or ice.
  • In some cities you are not allowed to drive in certain streets with studded tires (you can cross these streets at designated intersections):
  • Stockholm: Hornsgatan, Fleminggatanand and part of Kungsgatan
  • Gothenburg: Friggagatan and Odinsgatan
  • Uppsala: Kungsgatan and parts of Vaksalagatanin
  • A prohibition to drive with studded tires is indicated by a round yellow sign with a red border and a red diagonal bar and below it in black the image of part of a studded tire.
  • Studded tires are not for rent in Sweden, but for sale.

Particularities

Winter equipment

  • In winter conditions it is mandatory to use windshield wiper fluid with antifreeze and to have a snow shovel in the car.
  • It is also recommended to bring a rope, jumper cables, a reflective safety vest and warm clothes in the car in winter.

Vehicles from 3500 kg

  • Winter tires of vehicles with a permissible maximum mass of more than 3500 kg must bear the snowflake symbol, the indication POR (Professional Off Road) or the indication M + S, but in the latter case the tires must be specially designed for winter conditions.
  • The minimum tread depth of winter tires for these vehicles is 5 mm.