Driving in Croatia: The Split Rules of the Road

Total Croatia News

There doesn’t seem to be any rules of the road in Split, Croatia, so I thought I’d help out and write a few.

[Disclaimer: These rules have been compiled purely through observation; any resemblance to the actual rules of the road is likely coincidental.]

Please remember that you can choose any direction to go on a one way street — provided you’re in reverse and on your mobile phone. If going in the direction inverse to the norm it is preferable to do so at speed.

Traffic lights and pedestrian crossings: these are purely advisory — feel free to go with the flow.

Junctions work best if you move into them regardless of whether the way ahead is free. A jumble of cars at cross angles beeping horns gives pedestrians a welcome opportunity to cross the road.

Stop signs have been deliberately positioned too far back from the junction to actually be able to see if anything is coming. This is a thoughtful act to allow you to creep over then go go go with impunity.

Most modern cars have indicators. These are lights positioned on the four corners of the car which allow you to ‘indicate’ which direction you intend to take. A fun game is to show you intend to go in one direction but actually go in another, or wait until after the manoeuvre to indicate what you just did at speed. Obviously it’s no one’s business but your own where the hell you’re going — so no obligation if you prefer to keep it to yourself.

A good way to avoid being slowed down by pedestrians is to speed up as you approach crossings — watch them dance as they leap back and remark your majesty as you sweep by.

Don’t let cars in front of you, they’re just changing lane to wind you up.

Pavements provide handy parking spaces safe from the rigours of the road. Don’t worry too much if you block someone in — that’s what car horns are for.

Parking can be a problem in Split, if you find a good spot close to home a handy trick is to key any car that thinks to use it. That way you can be pretty sure of always finding that special space free.

Parking a pain? Just stop in the lane — the other cars can always go around you or wait — fjaka.

Most blind corners in Split are built with nearby school crossings in mind — these corners are a perfect place to stop to drop off the kids. Make sure your children take care getting out as this has the added advantage of obscuring the view of the junction for both pedestrians and other cars on the school run.

If you’re having a gloomy morning why not cheer yourself up by playing Split Rollercoaster. If the sun is out — all the better — the sun is shining so the rules of the road go out the window with your arm. Remember! Don’t strap the kids in — they’ll have much more fun bouncing around inside the car. If you must use car seats then attach them as loosely as possible and make sure the kids know that the harness is optional. Not fair to have them miss out on such an exciting ride.

Driving a visitor from Australia or the UK? Why not make them feel at home by driving on the left. Other motorists are sure to get out of your way. (It’s possible this is a true story.)

No yellow diamond sign: who the heck has priority? YOU, you have priority. Always.

Crossing a junction at speed where people turning have priority is a great way to put them in their place. They’ll soon learn to ignore those signs in favour of survival of the fittest.

See a police car and have no connections? Slow down to half the speed limit to make up for all the times you’ve broken it (driving at normal speed is a sure way to let them know about your past crimes).

Many of the main thoroughfares in Split have two or three lanes — this is so you need not feel compunction at stopping so you can say Hi to a friend. Besides, if you really weren’t allowed to stop there then they wouldn’t have put a bakery in just that place.

Big fancy car? You need that disabled spot more than anyone — go ahead take it.

Other priority rules: Your journey is more important — know your rights — you are always right — if in doubt shout aggressively and wave your arms a lot. Don’t trouble yourself with thinking through how the cars are positioned. If six cars have to reverse to let you through then they should be making an extra effort to be quick about it.

Special notes for motorcyclists. Pedestrian zones were obviously put there to clear the traffic for you. Feel the freedom of speeding through the Roman walkways, enjoy the sight of adorable small children jumping out of your way.

Addenda for pedestrians:

The best place to converse with a group of friends is always, and always has been (we have such history in this city) at a narrow cross junction in the busiest part of town.

Don’t worry about motorcycles, they’ll weave around you. But those little electric trucks in town — they’ll crush you as soon as look at you — get the hell out of their way.

Motorists: treat these and any other rules as guidelines and you will be victorious!

And remember: life’s too fast to go slow.


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