Austria

Summary

There is a general threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

There are complex driving laws in Austria, especially for caravan and motorhome owners.

If you intend to ski you should be aware that during and around the winter season there is continued danger of avalanches in some areas of Austria. Even during summer time this danger still exists for snow covered areas. You should take advice on weather and avalanche conditions before you travel and also while you are in the resort.

We advise you to carry your passport with you at all times as proof of identification.

We recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling to Austria. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake.

Road Travel 

Only persons over 18 years of age holding valid driving licences may drive in Austria. The only exceptions to this rule are under 17 year olds who drive for practice reasons under supervision and have met the required legal conditions.
  

The legal limit in Austria is 50 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood (and/or 10 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood for beginners, coach and HGV drivers) and penalties for driving under influence are strict.
 
High visibility warning vests are required for all drivers. They need to be stored within reach of the driver and must be worn day or night when exiting the vehicle on the hard shoulder or in the event of breakdown. Only "hands free" mobile telephones can be used whilst driving.
 
From 1 January 2008, it will no longer be compulsory for cars to be driven with headlights switched on throughout the day all year round. 

If you use Austrian motorways (“Autobahn”) and "S" roads you must display a Motorway Vignette on the inside of the wind shield of your vehicle as you enter Austria. Failure to have one will mean a heavy, on-the-spot fine. Motorway Vignettes are obtainable at all major border crossings into Austria and at larger petrol stations.

All vehicles above 3.5 tonnes maximum permitted laden weight and using the Austrian network of motorways and express ways are required to attach a small device - called the “GO-Box” - to their windscreen. Note that this includes larger private vehicles such as motor caravans that are above the weight limit. If your vehicle is close to the weight limit you are advised to carry documentation confirming the maximum permitted laden weight. If your registration documents do not clearly state this, you will need to produce alternative certification e.g. from a weighbridge.

The GO-Box uses the high frequency range to communicate with the around 400 fixed-installation toll points covering the whole of Austria, making it possible to effect an automatic toll deduction without slowing down or stopping the flow of traffic. The on-board devices can be obtained for a one-off handling fee of Euro 5.00 at approximately 220 sales centres in Austria and in neighbouring countries, or via the Internet.
  
Travelling with children 
  
Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that Austria requires documentary evidence of parental responsibility (e.g. a consent letter) before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. 

Insurance 
  
We recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake.

Money 
 
Since 15 January 2007 new legislation on the controls of cash entering or leaving the EU apply in all Member States. Any person entering or leaving the EU will have to declare the cash that they are carrying if this amounts to 10,000 euros or more; this includes cheques, travellers' cheques, money orders, etc. This will not apply to anyone travelling via the EU to a non-EU country, as long as the original journey started outside of the EU nor to those travelling within the EU.

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