Driving in Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia, can be a challenging experience for those who are unfamiliar with the city’s unique driving culture.
To help ensure a safe and stress-free driving experience, here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind when navigating Tbilisi’s streets.
- Follow the rules of the road: Like any other city, Tbilisi has traffic laws that drivers must follow. It’s important to obey traffic signals, road signs, and speed limits to avoid accidents and traffic violations.
- Use your horn: Honking is a common practice in Tbilisi, and it’s not considered rude or aggressive. In fact, honking is often used as a way to signal your presence to other drivers or pedestrians, especially in crowded areas.
- Be patient: Traffic can be slow and congested in Tbilisi, especially during rush hour. It’s important to remain calm and patient, and avoid aggressive or reckless driving that could endanger yourself or others.
- Stay alert: Tbilisi’s streets can be chaotic and unpredictable, so it’s important to stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times. Keep an eye out for pedestrians, other vehicles, and unexpected obstacles in the road.
- Be courteous: Georgian drivers tend to be courteous and polite, so it’s important to reciprocate this behavior on the road. Use your turn signals, yield to other drivers when necessary, and avoid cutting in front of other vehicles.
- Do pay attention to road signs: Tbilisi has an extensive network of roads, and it’s essential to be aware of the various traffic rules and regulations. Pay attention to road signs, traffic lights, and lane markings, as they will help you navigate the city’s streets safely.
- Do use your seatbelt: In Tbilisi, wearing a seatbelt is mandatory for drivers and passengers. Make sure you and your passengers buckle up before hitting the road.
- Do drive defensively: Tbilisi’s roads can be congested, and you’ll likely encounter many aggressive drivers on the road. To stay safe, always drive defensively and be prepared to react quickly to any situation.
- Do be aware of pedestrians: Tbilisi is a pedestrian-friendly city, and you’ll see many people walking on the streets. Be mindful of them, especially at crosswalks and pedestrian crossings.
- Do keep your documents up to date: Make sure you have all the necessary documents, such as your driver’s license and car insurance, up to date and with you at all times.
- Do be prepared for weather changes: Georgia’s weather can be unpredictable, with sudden rain and snowfall, especially in the mountains. Make sure your car is equipped with proper tires and other equipment to handle any weather changes.
- Drink and drive: Drinking and driving are illegal in Georgia, and the consequences can be severe. If you plan to drink, make sure you have a designated driver or use a taxi or ride-sharing service to get home safely.
- Drive without insurance: It’s mandatory to have insurance in Georgia, and driving without it can result in fines or other penalties. Make sure you have valid insurance coverage before getting behind the wheel.
- Use your mobile phone while driving: Using a mobile phone while driving is illegal in Georgia, and can result in fines or other penalties. If you need to make a call or send a message, pull over to a safe location before using your phone.
- Ignore pedestrian crossings: Pedestrians have the right of way at designated crossings in Tbilisi, and drivers are required to stop and yield to them. Ignoring pedestrian crossings can result in fines or other penalties, as well as endangering the safety of pedestrians.
- Park in prohibited areas: Parking can be difficult in Tbilisi, but it’s important to avoid parking in prohibited areas such as bus stops, sidewalks, and no-parking zones. Doing so can result in fines or even having your car towed.
- Don’t honk unnecessarily: Honking is common in Tbilisi, but it’s essential to use your horn only when necessary. Excessive honking can be a nuisance and is prohibited in some areas of the city.
- Don’t speed: Georgia has strict speed limits, and exceeding them can result in hefty fines. Be mindful of the speed limit signs and adjust your driving accordingly.
- Don’t pass on the right: In Tbilisi, passing on the right is prohibited, and it’s important to stay in your lane and follow the traffic flow.
- Don’t ignore road conditions: Tbilisi’s roads can be bumpy, especially outside the city center. Be aware of road conditions and adjust your speed accordingly to avoid any accidents.
Driving in Tbilisi requires a combination of patience, alertness, and courtesy. By following the rules of the road, staying aware of your surroundings, and treating other drivers and pedestrians with respect, you can help ensure a safe and stress-free driving experience. Remember to always prioritize safety and follow the law to avoid penalties and stay out of harm’s way.