Barbados Driving Tips
- In Barbados we drive on the left side of the road. If you are accustomed to driving on the right side we suggest you take your time and drive with caution, as you first get accustomed to the ‘opposite’ side.
- Barbados has a number of roundabouts at major junctions to allow a better flow of traffic. The roundabout system of lanes is: If you are taking the first left exit off the roundabout you stay in the left lane, for all other exits off the roundabout you should remain in the right lane. Always give way to vehicles on your right at the roundabout.
- Seatbelts are mandatory here and you can be ticketed if stopped while not wearing one or at the worst case, get seriously injured if involved in an accident.
- We recommend you always take your license and local driving permit with you on the road.
- Drive within the legal speed limits at all times which are clearly marked on road signs. Barbados’ roads are well policed and most officers are equipped with speed radar devices.
- Our police force is easily recognizable by their uniform and the police vehicles are well marked. They are accustomed to being approached by visitors for information so don’t be hesitant to ask for directions or otherwise.
- If going on an island tour we recommend you travel with a Barbados road map, which we will provide you but are also available island wide at no cost.
- Even though road signs are in place almost everywhere, you might find yourself on the wrong road, don’t despair, Barbadians in general are very polite and helpful and will do their best to assist you with directions if you need help.
- While we do have large highways, some of our roads can be narrow or without sidewalks for pedestrians so we advise you to take greater care driving on the smaller roads
- Be on the lookout for ‘pot holes’ on some of the smaller roads as hitting one of these at any speed will be uncomfortable or painful and might damage your rental car while you are on vacation in Barbados.
- Public transportation is made up of the large blue buses, yellow mini-buses and smaller ‘ZR’ vans as they are referred to. The bigger buses can be quite overwhelming if you meet one of them on the smaller roads. So it’s best to slow down and keep to your side when you see one coming.
- Rush hour traffic during the work week, 7:30-9:00 a.m. and 4:00-5:30p.m., can be quite heavy so better for you if you can avoid the major roads at these times.
- The smaller PSV’s or Public Service Vehicles with the ZR license plate can also be a bit of a pain during the rush hour, sometimes driving recklessly as they try to make the most of their best business time of day.
- In Barbados we urge you to drink responsibly and if you know you will be driving, limit your consumption as the local ‘spirits’ can be quite strong and judgment impairing.
- When parking, always lock your vehicle and remove items of value, which might be ‘attractive’ from the outside. If parking at night, try to park in a well-lit area.
- In general, Barbados does not have parking attendants, so if approached by someone trying to pass as one, just say ‘no thank you’.
- If you are ever involved in an accident, do not move the vehicle from its last position after the collision, call us immediately and we will take care of everything for you.
- If possible, always travel with your cell phone for quick and easy access to contact us. If not, keep some local change with you as public telephone booths are located all over the island.
- Don’t be to concerned if someone flashes their light or honks their horn, locals tend to do this often not as an alarm but more of a traveling “hello” or as a means of alerting you of an opportunity to turn, exit a minor road or otherwise.
- Most of the island’s major fuel service stations are operated on a 24hour basis and will accept credit card payments for gasoline and all will take US dollars (the exchange rate is US $1.00 = BDS $1.98) , however, we recommend you always travel with some local currency
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